Paw Paw (MI) Paw Paw offensive guard Karsen Barnhart committed to Michigan on Monday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and others.
Barnhart is 6’5″, 282 lbs. He claims a 5.25 forty, a 5.08 shuttle, and a 26.5″ vertical.
ESPN: 3-star, 79 grade, #36 OT
Rivals: 3-star, #44 OT
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #41 OT, #379 overall
Hit the jump for more on Barnhart’s commitment.
Barnhart was offered by Michigan over the off-season, and despite being thought of as a Michigan State lean, things started to heat up between him and the Wolverines. He was set to announce his commitment two Fridays ago, but the Spartans convinced him to hold off for the time being. After another nine days . . . they still couldn’t change his mind.
Barnhart has a decent frame at 6’5″, 282 lbs. He’s not a massive prospect, but he should be able to carry around 300 lbs. without much of an issue. The #1 thing that stands about him is that he plays tight end, and he doesn’t look like an awkward fit at that spot. He’s able to bend well at that height and get underneath smaller defenders. He shows quick feet and the ability to move laterally, and he can release up to second-level defenders. He also has the ability to redirect and latch onto smaller players. He can overpower smaller defenders and scores some comedic knockdown blocks with mild shoves at the third level.
He won’t be able to get away with shoving players and turning those into knockdowns at the next level. Barnhart can get a little high out of his stance, and he needs to work on playing with a wider base. He tends to take long strides when drive blocking, and he will get knocked off balance or be unable to mirror defenders. He may be a little compact to play tackle at the next level; while he has the feet to play tackle, the frame may keep him inside. Like Mason Cole, he could probably play tackle if necessary and do an okay job. However, playing tight end in a run-heavy offense, Barnhart is not well versed in pass protection and may take some time to work out the kinks in that aspect of his game.
I see Barnhart as an offensive guard at the next level, but I think he’s a guy who could play all five positions. I like him as a prospect, partly because I generally like guys who can play tight end and be converted into linemen. Even if he adds some weight over the next year, Barnhart will probably need some time to work on his pass protection, footwork, stance, etc. before he’s ready to contribute on Michigan’s offensive line.
Michigan now has 10 prospects committed in the 2019 class, including four offensive linemen: Barnhart, C/OG Nolan Rumler, OG/OT Jack Stewart, and OT Trente Jones. As far as I can tell, Barnhart will be the first player to go from Paw Paw to the University of Michigan.
TTB Rating: 79 (ratings explanation)
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