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Michigan right guard Zak Zinter returning for senior season


Penn State v Michigan Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Another HUGE piece to the Michigan Wolverine’s 2023 season is officially back, as right guard Zak Zinter announced his return on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder could have very well left for the NFL Draft after a successful third year in Ann Arbor — he had the potential to be a Day 2 pick. He was ranked the seventh-best offensive guard prospect by ESPN and could have seen his stock increase following the NFL Combine. But nonetheless, this is fantastic news for the Wolverines.

Zinter has been a mainstay on Michigan’s offensive line since his true freshman season in 2020. That year, he started at right guard in four of the six games, and played in all six. He followed that up in 2021 with 12 starts at right guard in 13 total games played, helping the Wolverines win their first Joe Moore Award for the best offensive line in college football. He was an All-Big Ten Second Team player by the media and an Honorable Mention by the coaches for his efforts.

In 2022, Zinter took a step forward in his development. He started all 14 games Michigan played and was once again a huge reason the Wolverines won the Joe Moore Award. He was a consensus All-Big Ten First Team player by the coaches and media. He also won Offensive Player of the Week for Michigan’s contests against Penn State and Nebraska.

Zinter is the second starting offensive lineman to return to Michigan in 2023, as left guard Trevor Keegan also announced he will be back in Ann Arbor for his fifth year.

During Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach, it’s hard to think of many offensive linemen better than Zinter. You could argue Ben Bredeson and Cesar Ruiz, but if that’s the case, Zinter is at least in the top-three. He’s been that good, and this news is absolutely huge.