By Peter Marx
OXFORD, Ohio - Former Miami University star quarterback Zac Dysert is ready to show NFL coaches and scouts what he's made of at the Senior Bowl Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
The game, which features the nation's top collegiate players, will be broadcasted on the NFL Network at 4 p.m. ET.
"It's something that I've dreamed of and something that I've always wanted to play in," Dysert said. "It was an awesome feeling knowing that all my hard work paid off and I'm going to get a chance to go out there and play with some great players."
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound prospect was one of six quarterbacks selected to play in the prestigious annual event. North Carolina State's Mike Glennon and Syracuse's Mike Nassib will play on the North team with Dysert, while Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Florida State's EJ Manuel and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson will represent the South team.
Dysert, Glennon and Nassib will get equal playing time, as each QB will rotate, playing two series apiece throughout the exhibition. The Ada, Ohio native, who has been training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and will do so until the NFL Combine Feb. 20, will wear No. 7 Saturday.
The Oakland Raiders' staff will coach the North squad, while the Detroit Lions' staff will direct the South team.
Dysert said he has been working with Oakland senior offensive assistant Al Saunders, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and offensive coordinator Greg Olson during practice and film sessions this week.
"They went really well," Dysert said about his practices. "The first day, Monday, I didn't have the greatest day. But it was more just getting your feet wet and getting to know each other.
"I had a great day Tuesday. I got in the playbook, knew the offense a lot better and then got used to all my guys. And then Wednesday was my best day. Everything was just clicking. Throughout the week you try to get better every day. By day three, the whole offense was in, so you knew there wasn't going to be any more installation going on. Finally, all the guys were on the same page. It was just a good team day."
Dysert said his favorite part about the Senior Bowl experience has been "getting to know the other players."
"It's the guys that are on SportsCenter every night in the Top 10 plays," he said. "Just getting to play with a lot of great players and getting to know them off the field as well has been the most fun."
In addition to practice and team meetings, Dysert also interviewed with all 32 NFL teams in the evenings from 8-11:30 p.m. He said the coaches wanted to get to know him better on a personal level, as they had already seen his game film.
Last week, Dysert's agent said he expects him to be a late-second to early-third round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, which will be held April 25 through April 27.
But Dysert isn't focused on where he'll end up in the draft yet; he's taking it one step at a time, which starts with a big day Saturday.
"There's a lot riding on it, but I'll just approach it like any other game," he said of the Senior Bowl. "I'll try not to do anything out of the ordinary."