Will open the 2008 season as the owner of the program's longest active starting streak (18 games) ... Has parlayed a non-traditional redshirt season in 2005 (Skip Holtz' first season) into a Conference USA and national honors-winning career ... Projected to open senior year similar to junior campaign - as one of ECU's starting defensive ends ... A quick, mobile, physical, studious and hard-working athlete who has added nearly 20 pounds to an already strong and tall frame in the past three years, thanks mostly to the redshirt season in strength and conditioning program in 2005 ... Yet, still maintains daily struggle to keep or enhance weight ...Has also quickly become a media, fan and community relations favorite because of charisma, polish and communication skills ... Contributed an unselfish and productive performance as scout team member during year on sidelines ... Played initial season as an outside linebacker under previous coaching staff ... Opened spring scrimmage schedule with two tackles, a sack, interception and quarterback pressure on 3/28 before sitting out the final contest and Purple-Gold Game because of illness ... Earned unit's Distinction of Outstanding Attitude, Effort and Leadership Award at the close of drills ... A First-Team Preseason All-Conference USA pick by league head coaches ... Also has earned preseason all-league designation by Athlon Sports, Blue Ribbon Yearbook, Lindy's and Phil Steele Magazine.
2007: An All-Conference USA (second-team) selection by both coaches and media ... Opened all 13 games ... Tied for seventh on the team with 49 tackles (22 solo, 27 assists) ... Had 11.5 TFLs (-44 yards), which led unit ... Stood second on squad with 4.5 sacks (-21 yards) ... Tied for seventh in C-USA in TFLs (11.5) ... Registered a career-high eight tackles against USM (9/15) ... Recorded at least 1.5 TFLs in five games (2.0/VT, 1.5/UNC, 2.0/USM, 1.5/UH, 2.5/NCSU) ... Had at least five total tackles in seven games ... Helped hold four opponents to 80 yards or less rushing (VT/33, UNC/79, NCSU/49, MEM/77) ... Collected four QB hurries, forced two fumbles (USM, UTEP) and one pass breakup ... vs. Va. Tech (9/1): Picked up one of four ECU sacks on the day (-5 yards) ... Completed contest with five total tackles (three solo, two assists) ... Credited with two TFLs (-6 yards) ... vs. UNC (9/8): Finished tied for third on the team with six total tackles (two solo, four assists) ... Collected a sack in his second consecutive game for a four-yard loss ... Credited with 1.5 TFLs in the game (-5 yards) ... vs. USM (9/15): Recorded eight total tackles (solo, seven assists) ... Finished with two TFLs (-8 yards), a forced fumble and one QBH ... vs. WVU (9/22): Credited with one tackle (solo) ... vs. Houston (9/29): Tallied seven total stops (two solo, five assists) ... Credited with 1.5 TFLs (-3 yards) ... Returned a blocked FG attempt 50 yards in the second quarter to set up the Pirates' third score of the game ... Also credited with one pass breakup ... vs. UCF (10/6): Recorded six total tackles (three solo, three assists) ... vs. UTEP (10/13): Tallied five total tackles (all solo) ... Registered third sack of season in the first half ... Had one TFL (-4 yards) ... Forced second career fumble in the fourth quarter ... Also credited with one QBH ... vs. N.C. State (10/20): Registered six total stops (three solo, three assists) ... Recorded fourth sack of the season in the second quarter (-7 yards) ... Credited with 2.5 TFLs (-16 yards) ... vs. UAB (10/27): Recorded two tackles (both assists) ... Credited with a half sack (-1 yard) ... Had one TFL for (-2 yards) ... Also credited with one QBH ... vs. Memphis (11/3): Recorded one tackle (solo) ... Member of defensive unit that held the Tigers to 77 rushing yards (third fewest this season) ... vs. Marshall (11/10): Recorded one tackle (assist) ... vs. Tulane (11/24): Did not record any tackles in his 12th start of the year ... vs. Boise State (12/23): Recorded one tackle (solo) and a quarterback hurry in bowl start ... Part of a defensive unit that held the Broncos to 98 rushing yards.
2006: Started five of 13 games played ... Opened contests against Navy, Marshall, Rice, N.C. State and USF (Papajohns.com Bowl) ... Recorded 24 total tackles (15 solo, nine assists) ... Also credited with one-and-a-half sacks (-10 yards), two quarterback hurries and three pass breakups ... Stood second among special teams tacklers with six stops ... Turned in ECU's only blocked kick of the season, stepping in front of a Marshall punt (11/11) to set up game's first score in the opening quarter ... Also picked off first career pass vs. Memphis (9/16) and returned it seven yards for a touchdown to spark the Pirates' comeback win ... Booked back-to-back career-high tackle efforts with five each against Rice and N.C. State ... Matched Kyle Chase for the single-game high with three special teams stops against the Wolfpack ... Scored Pirates' first defensive touchdown on an interception since 2003 with score vs. Memphis ... Earned program's "Effort Award" for defensive side of the ball ... Also led defense with a total of 63 earned helmet decals (Janet Overton Award) ... vs. Navy (9/2): Recorded three tackles in first career start ... vs. UAB (9/9): Did not record statistics in reserve role ... vs. Memphis (9/16): Came off bench and netted first career pass theft in the fourth quarter and returned it for a seven-yard TD to give ECU its first lead of the game (21-20) early in the fourth quarter ... vs. WVU (9/23): Notched one tackle ... vs. UVA (10/7): Credited with one assisted tackle in reserve role ... vs. Tulsa (10/14): Recorded one tackle in the fourth quarter (solo) in limited action on the defensive line ... vs. SMU (10/21): Experienced action on the defensive line and on special teams ... Credited with two total tackles and one quarterback hurry ... vs. USM (10/28): Booked two solo tackles ... vs. UCF (11/4): Logged one special teams stop ... vs. Marshall (11/11): Blocked first career punt in the first quarter and was credited with 29 return yards ... Tallied one solo hit, a QB hurry and three pass deflections in second start of season ... vs. Rice (11/18): Recorded a career-high five tackles, 1.5 of which came as sacks ... vs. N.C. State (11/25): Matched then personal-best with another five-tackle outing ... vs. USF (12/23): Earned two solo stops in the Papajohns.com Bowl ... First tackle came on the opening kickoff of the second half while other stop came in the third quarter on a first down play.
2005: Redshirted to enhance strength and size ... Provided an experienced look to offensive line as scout team performer.
2004: Earned first college letter as a top-tier member of the special teams squad and as a reserve on the defensive line ... Experienced action in 10 games as a true freshman ... Did not play in season-opener at West Virginia ... Tallied four solo tackles, all coming during special teams play ... Logged a personal-best two stops against Army during ECU's win at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Added single hits against Cincinnati and N.C. State in the season finale at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
High School: An All-Central Florida selection as a senior team captain after logging 98 tackles and eight sacks ... A three-time all-district and All-Space Coast Conference standout ... Chosen to the All-Brevard County (first-team) squad by the Orlando Sentinel ... Selected to the East-West All-Star roster as a senior ... Tallied 84 stops and five sacks as a junior after contributing 72 tackles and nine sacks during sophomore campaign ... Helped lead Bulldogs to district title with 8-2 record ... Picked up a total of four football letters and a letter each in wrestling, track and baseball ... Prep power numbers include a bench-press of 325, a squat-lift of 405 and a dead-lift of 450 ... Also timed at 4.7 in the 40.
Personal: Full name is Zachary Todd Slate ... Born January 7, 1985 at Melbourne, Fla. ... A construction management major ... Both brothers compete or competed in sports at the collegiate level - Matt (baseball at Florida Tech), Sam (football at Carson-Newman) ... Hobbies include offshore fishing, cars, drawing, music, body-boarding, skeet shooting and swimming ... Earned selection to the 2006-07 and 2007-08 ECU Athletic Director's Honor Roll ... Lists Harold Robinson as favorite all-time Pirate player ... Wears No. 41 as a tribute to former Pirate player Pat Dickerson who was a member of the ECU program during his freshman year ... Enjoys following international soccer ... Credits brother Matt and former teacher Mr. Sessoms as most influential people on development of career.