As a Recruit
Zach Laskey was a 2-star, 5.4-rated running back in high school per Rivals. He attended Starr's Mill High School and hails from Fayetteville, GA. He was high school teammates with wide receiver and fellow Yellow Jacket Jeff Greene, who has since transferred to Ohio State. Laskey served as team captain his senior year and with over 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns was named first-team all-county, all-region, all-state, and AAAA Player of the Year as he led the team to a regional title and state runners-up. After getting a lot of attention for his performance in the state playoffs, Laskey was offered a scholarship in mid-December and accepted on the spot. He committed over offers from Air Force and Navy.
On the Field
Though listed as a running back and recruited as a B-Back, he also played linebacker and safety in high school and actually began his career on the Flats at safety as a true freshman. Laskey recorded 8 tackles that season on defense and special teams, and then also contributed as the team's starting punt returner for the first 8 games of the year, racking up 94 yards on 11 returns. It would be Laskey's only season on defense and his only season of returning punts.
By his sophomore year, Laskey was fully adjusted to the B-Back role. How fully adjusted, you ask? Well, let's just say that his 697 rushing yards led the team, and his 133 carries were third to Tevin Washington and David Sims. Yes, on over 130 carries, Laskey averaged 5.24 yards per carry, and yet somehow only managed a single touchdown. He started the Presbyterian, Virginia, Miami, and Middle Tennessee State games in place of an ailing David Sims, though he also started later against Boston College and USC in the Sun Bowl. He had two games of 100+ yards, and went for 40+ yards seven times. Laskey added 6 catches for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns -- go figure that his 6 touches through the air yielded more touchdowns than his 133 on the ground.
Laskey's 2013 season saw a slight reduction in role, largely due to a healthier David Sims and modified offensive system to fit Vad Lee's preferences. He never started and only saw 84 carries (down 49 from the previous season) for 485 yards (good for fourth on the team), but raised his yards-per-carry average to 5.77. He did manage 7 touchdowns on the ground, and added another through the air on one of his three catches. Fans may remember that Laskey went for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 16 carries in Charlottesville against Virginia, playing a big role in the Jackets' 35-25 win.
As a senior, Laskey finally became "the man" at B-Back, starting the first 7 games of the season and making a name for himself throughout the ACC. Despite an injury in Chapel Hill against UNC that sidelined him for three games, Laskey still finished second on the team in carries, third in yards, and tied Synjyn Days for the lead with 9 rushing touchdowns. He went for over 100 yards on two very memorable occasions, beginning in a huge win against Miami where he finished with 29 carries (a career high) for 133 yards (which tied his career high from Virginia the year prior). The second occasion was Laskey's best game of his career in the biggest win of his career -- in Athens, where his 26 carries went for a career-best 140 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and the game-winning touchdown in overtime. His season would end with 851 yards (23rd all-time in school history) on 171 carries. Though we predicted Laskey to go for 1,000 yards, he fell just short due to those three games he missed with an injury and the emergence of Synjyn Days as the starter for the final 7 games of the season. (Stretching Laskey's yardage from 11 games into 14 projects that he would have finished at around 1,080 yards, while using his first 7 games as a baseline would leave him close to 1,200 yards.) As a result, Laskey was named second-team All-ACC by both the media and coaches.
Zach Laskey's career at Georgia Tech ends with 2,033 career rushing yards (13th all-time at Georgia Tech) and 5.24 career yards per carry (11th all-time at Georgia Tech).
Off the Field
A tough, determined player off the field, Laskey was an outstanding representative for Georgia Tech off the field. In interviews, whether with internal, local, or national media, Laskey always displayed a high level of character. He always seemed to have a smile on his face, and always displayed a clear team-first attitude. That attitude was easy to see in Laskey's willingness to change positions after his freshman year, and again in his support of Synjyn Days as the starter at B-Back after Laskey returned from injury.
An additional interesting story about Laskey was reported this fall, highlighting his continued employment of a tradition carried out by his high school. He filled water bottles from a creek near his house, and prior to each game would sprinkle the water in the end zone -- marking it as his.
Laskey is set to graduate in May with a Bachelor's degree in History, Technology and Society.
Thank you, Zach, for your relentless effort and undying willingness to help the team during your time on the Flats! Congratulations on a fantastic career!