DRIVE FOR 5
NDSU wide receiver perfects his art
Published January 2016
Zach Vraa has mastered the art of catching a football, even if it means reaching around a defender to grab the ball for an unbelievable touchdown. The NDSU wide receiver also has developed his love for drawing and painting.
In December 2014, Vraa earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management with minors in business and art. He took a medical hardship after overcoming multiple injuries his first couple of years at NDSU and is now finishing his sixth and final season.
The art classes at NDSU allowed him to be creative for a few hours a week in the studio classroom.
His favorite artwork is a series of scenes he painted from a family trip to Europe last summer. Vraa especially enjoyed the coast of Greece and used pictures he took along the way as his inspiration for the paintings.
“Art is so creative. It’s open-ended and I can do what I want as the artist,” he said.
Vraa excelled in his varied coursework and has received many academic awards. He credits his academic adviser, faculty and coaches for pushing him throughout his time at NDSU. He was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll each season. He earned the conference Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award three times, the 2014 President’s Council Academic Award and was named to the All-Academic Team this season. He will also leave as NDSU’s career leader in touchdown catches, receptions per game and receiving yards.
“I give it up to everyone on the team,” said Vraa. “It means a lot, especially after being out for two years because of injuries.”
Vraa will miss riding his long board around NDSU’s campus and sporting unusual hats along the way. Floral prints and polka dots are a few favorites. He plans to pursue a professional football career after the national championship game. He is also interested in marketing because of the business courses he took at NDSU and wants to continue developing his artistic abilities.