Brent Jones saw the potential in Zach Ertz before he did.
The three-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowl tight end received a phone call from Craig Bergman, the varsity head football coach at Monte Vista High School in California. Bergman said he had a tight end on the JV squad who showed a lot of promise but needed some special attention.
Ertz was that tight end.
"I was so darn tough on him," Jones recalls. "The thing that stood out about Zach was that he had the size and he had the athleticism. He wasn't exactly fast at the time. He had grown a lot and he was growing into his body but his hand-eye coordination was remarkable. I would grind him day in and day out about specifics of route-running, blocking, techniques, skills. I saw potential in him the first few weeks that Zach didn't really see in himself yet."
Ertz, also a promising basketball player, still thought that's where his future lied. Jones couldn't believe it.
By his senior season, Ertz was a first-team all-state selection catching 56 passes for 756 yards and 14 touchdowns with a scholarship in hand to Stanford. Ertz established himself as one of the best players in the country with the Cardinal, hauling in 69 receptions for 898 yards as a junior - both school records for the position and more than any other tight end in the FBS ranks. He was a unanimous first-team All-America choice and declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Ertz was picked by the Eagles 35th overall, the highest one used on the position since Keith Jackson (13th overall) in 1988. Ertz learned about the area from his father, Douglas, who played college football at nearby Lehigh University.
Ertz relished the taste of success that he had up to that point and didn't want it to go away just because he reached the NFL.
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