Schuckman: QND alumnus makes cut for NCAA video game
By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Zach Reichert isn't sure how stout the creators of NCAA Football 13 for Xbox have made the Army football team.
It might not be as good as the Black Knights actually will be.
"If Army is on TV anywhere, you're going to want to watch," said Reichert, a junior offensive lineman. "There's a lot of talent and a lot of potential."
Reichert is hoping to be right in the mix.
After spring practice as the backup at right guard, the Quincy Notre Dame product is in line to become the starter following the departure of senior Matt Villanti. The starter the final six games of 2011, Villanti missed spring practice while recovering from knee surgery and is not returning to the Academy this fall.
That opens door for Reichert.
"This season is a great opportunity and I'm excited," said Reichert, who will get to spend about a week in Quincy prior to the beginning of training camp Aug. 9. "I'm going to continue to work hard and let things play out however they do. I just have to keep working hard."
Obviously, someone is noticing.
Reichert made Army's roster for NCAA Football 13, which was released last week. After purchasing the game and the rosters for all teams, gamers can pick and choose which players to use. Reichert is listed as a guard on the Army roster, complete with the correct height (6-foot-2), weight (251) and uniform number (No. 75).
"You never really thought about yourself on a video game," Reichert said. "It's pretty cool. It surprised me since I wasn't listed on the Army roster last year. I was kind of like, â Wow, really?' I might have to check it out to make sure it's really me."
His brother already has.
Nick Reichert, who will be a freshman defensive lineman at Truman State University this fall, played the videogame with some friends in the days after its release. He chose Army as his team, and when he realized his brother was on the roster, Nick immediately made Zach a starter.
Nick put him to good use, too.
"I took a video of me pancaking a guy using my brother," Nick said. "I'm saving that to show him."
It may not be the last pancake Reichert makes if all goes well.
Reichert was listed as second on the depth chart with sophomore Steve Shumaker, who played in three games last year. Both saw reps with the first string during spring practice and could be pushed by a strong freshman class, which includes 11 offensive linemen. Among those freshman lineman is Matt Hugenberg, another QND product who spent last year at a prep school.
Reichert realizes the depth of this team places a priority on constantly improving.
"Working hard," Reichert said. "That's what you have to do. That's what I'm going to continue to do."
It's what will earn him playing time.
A roster spot for NCAA Football 14 will come with it, too.