Zack Golditch has just been signed to the San Francisco 49ers, after training at camp with the Los Angeles Chargers. It's an exciting moment for Golditch, who was a victim of the mass shooting in Aurora, CO during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, reported USA Today in April.
Golditch was actually there to see a film in the neighboring theater that fateful night on July 12, 2012. Just seventeen at the time, he was enjoying the film with friends when a gunman opened fire. Golditch, a star high school football player, was shot in the neck just below his left ear when a bullet came through the wall of the theater from the adjoining room. Thankfully, the bullet did not hit any major arteries or vertebrae in his neck, and Golditch made a full recovery and played football for Gateway High School that season.
The 6-foot-5 offensive lineman then had an impressive college career at Colorado State, where he started in 38 games according to Yahoo News. His Chargers teammates were aware he was a victim in the shooting and many were curious, including quarterback Philip Rivers. The two had a conversation about it while soaking in a cold tub.
"I figured the guy gets hounded all the time about it, but we ended up in the tub, and I figured, shoot, what the heck?" Rivers said. "You wonder what that experience was like. You read about it, but then hearing about it from someone who was actually in there, it was unbelievable."
Rivers said that Golditch appears to have handled the traumatic incident well and that he is not afraid to go to movies.
Golditch himself understands the curiosity of his fellow players.
"Guys have questions here or there, and I'll answer them. I haven't told my story in front of the whole team, but guys know," he said. "And periodically, people will pop in and ask questions, and I answer them because these are my teammates, and if they want to know, I want to answer those questions."
It's rare for an undrafted rookie player like Golditch to be signed to an NFL roster, but his hard work and improvements throughout training did not go unnoticed. Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said Golditch was inspirational, but also that he continually improved. Golditch is versatile and able to handle a lot of different roles on the field, which makes him a good get for the 49ers. Next season should be one to watch.