Zach Schreiber is sometimes referred to as Zach Shreveport because that is his hometown. The Louisiana native redshirt freshman has played before in the Independence Bowl Stadium, where his Evangel Christian High squad would often take big games.
"When I was a junior, we played West Monroe and it sold out," Shreiber said after Tuesday's shorts and shoulder pads practice. I don't ever get to go back home. They keep us pretty wrapped up here. We played our big games in the Independence Bowl."
As bowl destinations go, Shreveport sometimes gets a bad name for its relative anonymity when compared to the bigger city bowl destinations in Florida, Atlanta, New Orleans or Dallas, but Schreiber doesn't accept the characterization of his hometown as boring.
"Everybody wants to dog Shreveport. I don't get it," he said. "It was pretty jumping when I was there. I don't know, maybe I was living in my own little world. I'm going to have to take everyone around and show them the good places."
Schreiber had a promising start to the season before dropping off in statistical categories and playing time toward the end of the year. Schreiber and interim head coach Joe Kines both said Schreiber has improved, however.
Schreiber moved from a down lineman to a linebacker out of high school. Kines said he "didn't recommend" taking a player further away from the ball for a position move for most players because it is difficult to learn ("It's easy to move closer to the line of scrimmage; it's hard to move back.)
"There was a time there he was as lost as a ball in high weeds," Kines said.
The 6-1 Schreiber has lost five pounds over the season, he said, and is down to 215 pounds.
Kines said Tuesday's practice was "a little frisky a couple of times" in terms of players getting into pushing and shoving bouts in the field, "but that's good. Ball is supposed to be that way. They handled it well."