Each week during the 2016 college football season, Uplifting Athletes will feature a leader from our nationwide network of student-athlete led chapters.
Name: Zach Mahoney
College: Syracuse University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-2, 192 pounds, sophomore, quarterback
High School: Lyons Township, LaGrange Park, Ill.
About Zach Mahoney: Mahoney came to Syracuse prior to the 2015 season as a walk-on after spending a year in junior college in Illinois. He entered the 2015 season as the No. 5 quarterback on the Orange depth chart, and ended up playing in eight games with five starts. A leader of the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, Mahoney ended up throwing for 535 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He also rushed for an additional 150 yards and a couple scores. A member of the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, Mahoney threw for nearly 2,000 yards in his one season at the College of DuPage, and holds the record for career passing yards at his high school. Just prior to the 2016 season, Mahoney received a full scholarship from the new Orange coaching staff.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
Mahoney: My favorite home game day experience is first walking out of the tunnel. The smoke is covering what we see in front of us and when we are running out onto the field the stadium is electric and it is the best feeling in the world.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?
Mahoney: I did a lot of charity work in high school and I wanted to continue to doing work that will help the community and those who are less fortunate. Working with Uplifting Athletes has given me a chance to meet some true heroes, amazing people, and real inspirations for being blessed to be able to play football. Being able to see the face of those who have rare diseases and let them know that I, and Syracuse football and many other schools has their back is a great feeling.
What has been your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Mahoney: My most memorable experience as a college football player was receiving my scholarship. It was a huge relief for me and my family, but it just shows that hard work and dedication will allow for your dreams to come true.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play, and what makes them so difficult?
Mahoney: The most physically gifted teams that I have played were LSU and Clemson, but Boston College was the toughest team that I faced. They were not as fast as the other teams, but they never made a mistake and played with so much heart.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Mahoney: Tom Brady. He is a great leader and he knows how to win. Although his receiving core has never been great, especially compared to some of the other great quarterbacks, he is a true champion.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
Mahoney: My favorite road stadium that I have played in would be Florida State. The tradition behind their stadium and program is first class and to be able to see it first hand was a fun experience.
What is your major and what are some of your plans and dreams after college football?
Mahoney: My major is Communication and Rhetorical Studies. I want to pursue a masters at Syracuse and be able to continue to stay involved not only in sports and football, but also helping those around me. If I have an opportunity to play professionally that would be a dream, but staying healthy and living a long life involved in sports and helping others is my true goal in life.