football Edit

Two Wolverines offensive lineman named to Outland Trophy Watch List

Michigan has been popular so far this preseason watch list season and another award has named multiple Wolverines to its watch list.

The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best college football interior lineman in the United States as adjudged by the Football Writers Association of America.

Michigan's entire offensive line group won the Joe Moore Award for best offensive line unit in the country in 2021. Many people expect the Wolverine's O-line to not only be one of the country's best again but possibly improve.

A big reason why is the return of starting right guard Zak Zinter. Zinter dealt with an injury at the end of fall camp last year that trailed into the 2021 season. Once healthy, he was a dominant force in pass protection as well as one of the core blockers in Michigan's dominant run game. Zinter finished the season as an All-B1G Selection and was a favorite of many analytical services. Zinter is only a junior, but many are expecting a big season from the guard and he is already earned NFL Draft consideration from pundits and scouts.

Another big reason for the optimism around Sherrone Moore's group is the addition of Virginia transfer center Olu Oluwatimi. Michigan's only question marks entering this season on the line were who would replace long-time Wolverines C Andrew Vastardis and RT Andrew Steuber. While Michigan has plenty of experience in Trente Jones and Karsen Barnhart to take over at right tackle, there was a question about who would play center, with a move to the inside for Zinter even rumored. Michigan landed arguably the most impactful transfer this offseason in Oluwatimi. Oluwatimi was a Rimington Award finalist in 2021 as one of the nation's best centers. He has been named to the Rimington Watch List for 2022, expected to once again be one of the best centers in college football. It is hard to imagine a better fit than Oluwatimi and Michigan. He is a run-blocking menace and natural leader, already earning praise from players and coaches in Ann Arbor.

Zinter and Oluwatimi will be linchpins for the Wolverine's offensive attack in 2022 and it is no shock to see the future NFL players earning more preseason recognition.

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