Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Offensive lineman Zak Zinter of the 2023 National Champion University of Michigan football team received first-team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Communicators (CSC) on Tuesday (Jan. 23).

A second-team honoree last season, Zinter is now a two-time selection. He joins fellow offensive linemen Jim Orwig (1955, ’57), Stefan Humphries (1982, ’83), and Clay Miller (1984, ’85), tight end Norm Betts (1980-81) and nose tackle Rob Renes (1998, ’99) as the only two-time Academic All-Americans with at least one first-ballot honor in U-M history (six total).

Zinter has maintained a grade point average of 3.53 while earning his sport management degree (December, 2023) from U-M’s School of Kinesiology. He qualified as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in all three eligible seasons (2021-22-23). Zinter was a unanimous first-team All-American on the field in 2023; he made 42 career starts in 45 games played, and as a captain, helped lead U-M to a 2023 National Championship.

The All-Big Ten guard was Michigan Football’s 34th player to receive the distinction of Academic All-American when he earned the honor last year. He is the 11th offensive lineman and the second under head coach Jim Harbaugh with Andrew Vastardis (second team) having been honored in 2021. Four Wolverines have earned five Academic All-America honors in the past three seasons (Aidan Hutchinson, first team; David Ojabo, Vastardis, second team).

The 2023 Wolverines became the fourth team in the modern era to finish a college football season with 15 wins and no losses. Michigan was the first national championship team to lead every game at halftime since the 2001 Miami squad. A big part of that success was the Wolverines’ 14th-ranked scoring offense (35.9 points per game) led by running back Blake Corum. Running behind Zinter and the offensive line, Corum was the only player in the FBS to score in each game played this past season. He amassed a single-season Michigan record 28 total touchdowns (27 rushing; also a record) and had 11 multi-touchdown efforts.

Zinter and the offensive line blocked for Corum as he became the first Michigan back with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (2022, ’23) since Mike Hart (2006, ’07), finishing with 1,245 rushing yards.

Academic All-America teams are selected by College Sports Communicators and recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in academics and athletics. Student-athletes who meet the criteria for nomination must be in at least their second year at their institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and must have played in at least 50 percent of their team’s games as an important starter or reserve.

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