grad Zoltan Mesko will be the only Romanian native playing in the Super Bowl this year.
The second-year punter out of Michigan is hoping his friends and family are supporting him as the Patriots take on the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday.
“I don’t know,” he said this week. “It’s going to be a midnight kickoff, or a 1:00 [a.m.] kickoff there. Hopefully people will get their afternoon naps in and support me because I’ll be supporting them.”
Mesko, who earned Northeast Ohio Inland All-District Division II honors at Twinsburg High in 2003, said his experience at Michigan would actually help on this occasion because of the monstrous size of the crowd and noise from his college days.
“There are more people in the stands at Michigan, which is quite an experience,” he said. “The five years I was there, it was something that, the things I learned like time management and hard work and what it takes to be successful on such a stage are lessons that you can’t pay for. You just have to live through them.”
There will be no greater pressure then performing in the Super Bowl, especially on special teams when all eyes are on you for the split second you’re expected to perform flawlessly.
“It’s kind of the same,” he said, comparing his time at Michigan with the pros, “because there are teammates depending on you, and that’s what it boils down to. It’s you not wanting to let your teammates down and you putting in the work to succeed for your teammates and hopefully celebrate together.
Asked this week if he has found an edge in his kicking game this week, he played coy.
“If I would tell you, we wouldn’t have an edge anymore,” he said. “But we’ve been preparing hard and we try to keep the fundamentals going across the board. Even with what we’ve accomplished so far, we can’t lose that. We need to maintain it and keep working hard.”
Follow @ChrisVaccaro via Twitter for constant updates from Super Bowl XLVI.