Coach | Intangibles Separate 2020 OL Zak Zinter

May 15, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Mike Willey’s schedule is plenty busy these days with college coaches from around the country parading through Buckingham, Browne & Nichols.

The head coach has several players who can help colleges at a variety of positions and levels, but the feature attraction these days is 2020 offensive lineman Zak Zinter‍.

“He’s got elite size, elite strength, so that puts you in the ballgame,” says Willey, who has hosted Notre Dame, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Georgia Tech among others in the last week alone.

“But what I think separates him is that he’s such a great kid. He’s got great tape, he works so hard, all of those intangible things along with the elite size and strength, that’s what makes him so attractive.

“He’s obviously strong and stout and all of those things, but he’s also got great feet. We use him to pull and block in space and all of those things. He’s really good.”

Zinter arrived at BB&N last year.

“Right away, we knew we had someone special,” says Willey. “From day one here, he’s been a hard worker, definitely a great athlete.”

Willey, who was an All-American lineman during his playing days at Tufts University, doesn’t see any glaring weaknesses to Zinter’s game.

“When you’re making the leap from high school to college, you’ve got to keep working hard in the weight room, keep improving all of the athletic stuff,” the coach said. “All of the usual stuff, but there’s no weakness that I see like, ‘Oh, he’s got to do this better or that better.’ He just has to keep improving overall.”

Notre Dame offensive line coach Jeff Quinn was by the school last week.

“He’s very excited about him,” said Willey. “They’ve offered him, obviously. They want him. They’re just trying to tell him what Notre Dame has to offer, which is obviously a lot. I think they’re doing a great job.”

Zinter has already made a couple unofficial visits to South Bend and plans to return next month for an official visit.

As is the case with most New England prep schools, Willey sees plenty of similarities between his school and Notre Dame.

“They take their academics very seriously. Guys that come to our school, which is obviously a great academic school, are interested in schools that have high academics. Notre Dame is one of those. Pair that with elite football and that seems really attractive to a lot of our guys.”

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