Nick Zakelj

Mason 26 Feb,2024

Facts of Nick Zakelj

Full Name
Nick Zakelj
Last Name
First Name


Career & Net worth

Net Worth
$1 million
Career Earnings

Nick Zakelj is an American football offensive tackle who plays for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the 49ers in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He is one of the few players who made it to the NFL from Fordham University, a small school in the Bronx, New York.

This is his story of how he overcame challenges and achieved his dream of playing professional football.

Early years

Nick Zakelj was born on June 22, 1999, in Broadview Heights, Ohio. He grew up in a sports-loving family, with his father, Mark, being a former college basketball player and his mother, Lisa, being a former college volleyball player. He has two older sisters, Nicole and Natalie, who also played sports in high school and college.

Nick-ZakeljNick-Zakelj is from OhioImage Source: Instagram 

Nick started playing football at the age of six, following his father’s footsteps. He played various positions, including quarterback, running back, and linebacker, before settling as an offensive lineman. He attended Brecksville–Broadview Heights High School, where he was a four-year starter and a team captain.

Nick helped his team win two conference championships and reach the state playoffs three times. He was also a standout student, earning a 4.0 GPA and being a member of the National Honor Society.

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High school and college career

Nick received several scholarship offers from Division I schools, but he chose to attend Fordham University, a Division I FCS school that competes in the Patriot League. He said he was attracted by the academic reputation, the location, and the coaching staff of Fordham. He also wanted to prove himself at a higher level of competition.

Nick was a member of the Fordham Rams for five seasons, from 2017 to 2021. He became a starter at tackle during his freshman season and never missed a game in his college career. He earned second-team All-Patriot League honors as a sophomore and first-team All-Patriot League honors in each of his final three seasons.

Zakelj was also named to the FCS All-America team as a senior. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business analytics.

Journey to pro

Nick was not widely regarded as a top NFL prospect, despite his impressive college resume. He was not invited to the NFL Combine and had to rely on his pro-day performance to impress scouts. He measured 6-foot-6 and 316 pounds and ran a 5.13-second 40-yard dash. He also showed good strength and agility in the drills.

Nick-ZakeljNick-Zakelj was signed by the San Francisco 49ersImage Source: Instagram 

Nick was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, with the 187th overall pick. He was the first Fordham player to be drafted since 2015 and the 12th in school history. He said he was ecstatic and grateful to join the 49ers, a team with a rich tradition and a winning culture.

Nick made the 53-man roster as a rookie, and played in nine games, mostly on special teams. He also saw some action as a backup tackle and impressed the coaches with his work ethic and versatility.

Nick was praised by his teammates and mentors, such as veteran tackle Trent Williams and offensive line coach Chris Foerster.

Injuries and setbacks

Nick’s rookie season was cut short by a torn bicep injury, which he suffered in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Rams. He was placed on injured reserve and underwent surgery to repair the damage. He said he was disappointed and frustrated, but also determined to come back stronger and better.

Nick faced another setback in the offseason when he tested positive for COVID-19. He experienced mild symptoms, such as fever, cough, and loss of taste and smell. He had to isolate himself for two weeks and missed the start of the training camp. He said he was lucky to recover quickly, and thanked the medical staff and his family for their support.

Nick returned to the field in August and resumed his role as a backup tackle. He said he felt healthy and ready to contribute to the team. He also said he learned a lot from his injuries and setbacks and gained a new perspective on life and football.

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Family background

Nick comes from a family of Croatian descent and is proud of his heritage. His grandparents immigrated to the United States from Croatia in the 1950s and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. They worked hard to provide for their family and instilled in their children and grandchildren the values of faith, education, and sports.

Nick-ZakeljNick-Zakelj with his familyImage Source: Instagram 

Nick said his family is his biggest inspiration and motivation. He said he owes everything to his parents, who sacrificed a lot to support his dreams. He said he also looks up to his sisters, who are successful in their fields. He said he tries to make his family proud every day and hopes to give back to them someday.


Nick is currently single and focused on his football career. He said he does not have time for dating and prefers to spend his free time with his friends and teammates. He shares a house with 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who is also his best friend and college roommate. They have a close bond, and often hang out together, playing video games, watching movies, or cooking meals.

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