In high school, Chris Settlemire was the quarterback for the Howland Tigers.
Now he has a different name and he's playing for a different team, one that makes its debut Tuesday on television.
Chris Zylka is part of the cast for ''10 Things I Hate About You,'' a new ABC Family series based on the 1999 movie of the same name that updated William Shakespeare's ''The Taming of the Shrew'' and set it in a contemporary high school.
The name change came at the suggestion of his manager, Jon Simmons, after moving to Los Angeles in 2005. Simmons asked if he had another family name that might be shorter and catchier.
''I never had a lot of contact with my biological father,'' Zylka said during a telephone interview. ''My grandparents and my mother's maiden name is what I want to be remembered by.''
Zylka made the move two years after graduating from Howland with dreams of fame and riches. Instead, like most aspiring actors, he spent more time working in restaurants than in front of the camera.
''It's funny, as soon as you get over that (chasing money and stardom) and do it for the right reasons - the passion you have for your craft - things start to happen for you,'' he said.
Zylka has landed guest spots on ''90210,'' ''Hannah Montana'' and ''Everybody Hates Chris,'' which attracted some attention for the former Abercrombie & Fitch model. After his ''90210'' appearance, one blog picked him as its ''Unknown Hottie of the Week'' and other sites seem to be tracking his career.
The attention will increase with ''10 Things,'' his first job as a series regular. When he auditioned last November, he didn't know what to expect.
''You never really know,'' he said. ''Sometimes I walk out of an audition and think, 'I really nailed that one' and nothing. Sometimes I walk out and think, 'Wow, I suck. I should move back home and become a gas station attendant,' and then they call and say, 'We loved you'.''
Zylka saw the original movie when it came out, but he made a point of not watching it again so it wouldn't influence his audition. It's probably just as well.
''Carter Covington, the writer for the show, really created a new backdrop and a new back story for most of the characters,'' Zylka said.
He plays Joey Donner, an egotistical aspiring model who was more of a villain in the movie, which is best remembered for introducing Heath Ledger to American audiences. He's less of a bad guy in the television show.
''I never want to say that he's not all there, but he's naive,'' Zylka said.
Six of the 10 episodes ordered by ABC Family have been filmed so far, and Zylka will appear in seven of those 10 episodes.
The real test comes once the show premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday and the cable network sees the ratings, he said, ''But we've heard nothing but positive things.''
Zylka never acted when he was at Howland - ''I was too busy with sports,'' he said - but he believes those experiences prepared him for his current job, even if it requires a different uniform.
''I think it helped out immensely. You feel comfortable on the set, comfortable with a cast and crew. It comes down to who's going to be the leader, who's going to be the one who says, 'Let's get this one. Let's get this take.' It's really no different than it was on the football field.''