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Illinois Football lands 2023 guard Zachary Aamland

The commitment train isn’t slowing down, even for a holiday.

Illinois landed another commitment over the holiday.

Offensive guard Zachary Aamland from Princeton, New Jersey pledged to the Illini on Monday, making a total of four commitments for the 2023 class and becoming the second offensive lineman in the class. Aamland was recruited by offensive line coach Bart Miller and linebackers coach Andy Buh.

Coming in at 6-foot-6 and weighing 285 pounds, Aamland is the first commitment for the 2023 class who is not an Illinois native. He hails from the same prep school that 2022 signee Owen Anderson attended and continues the New Jersey pipeline of players since Bret Bielema’s arrival.

Aamland is a versatile athlete that brings guard to tackle value. He already has a solid frame with excellent height and should fill out proportionally in strength and conditioning coach Tank Wright’s system. Aamland is an aggressive run blocker who is known for finishing the play and driving his man into the ground. He’s agile, mobile, and powerfully hits defenders when he’s asked to pull. Like most linemen coming out of high school, pass blocking lags behind run blocking and that’s where Aamland will need to focus before becoming a full time contributor.

Offers for Aamland range from the midwest to the east coast. According to Rivals, he has collected a total of 16 offers with notable offers coming from Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Aamland is rated as a 5.5, 3-star, and 16th-best prospect in the state of New Jersey. For someone with Aamland’s talent, this rating is off the mark and lands him squarely in the underrated category.

The staff continued their hot streak on the recruiting trail by landing another physically gifted offensive lineman that fits the mold of what Illinois fans should come to expect. Coach Bielema believes in running the football and Aamland will give Illinois another young mauler on the offensive line that should develop into an excellent player in the coming years.

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