2020 Season Countdown: #22 Michael Barrett

2020 Season Countdown: #22 Michael Barrett

August 29, 2020
Michael Barrett (image via SI)

Name: Michael Barrett
224 lbs.
High school: 
Valdosta (GA) Lowndes
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked Barrett #53 and said he would be a backup Viper (LINK). He made 7 tackles, rushed 1 time for 14 yards, and completed a 25-yard pass.
TTB Rating:

Barrett had a very interesting 2019 season. Playing behind eventual 5th round draft pick Khaleke Hudson, Barrett did not see a lot of time on the field since it’s a position that rarely rotates. The Viper is usually one of the most versatile all-around football players on the field. It made sense in Jabrill Peppers’s case (he played QB/WR/RB/LB/CB/PR/KR) in his college career, and it made sense for Hudson (he was a standout RB/S in high school).

So whomever the coaches peg to take over for Hudson must be highly valued as an athlete. Barrett is no slouch, either, when it comes to positional versatility. He was a high school QB who has bounced between linebacker and slot receiver in college. Michigan used him as an upback on the punt team in 2019, allowing him to run a couple fake punts – one for a 14-yard rush and another for a pass that turned into a 25-yard completion to Dax Hill against Army.

On the one hand, I don’t have much tangible evidence to say that Barrett can be an impact Viper. After all, I evaluated him as an offensive player and he’s been on campus for two years without playing much defense.

On the other hand, it seems like we can trust the coaches to pick the right Viper based on the two guys who have manned the position over the past four years (along with Don Brown’s previous contributors there, including current NFLer Matt Milano).

I probably should rank Barrett higher, because the linebacker unit is very inexperienced behind the starting crew. The backup is probably either sophomore Anthony Solomon, who also plays some WILL, or a true freshman. But because Barrett has little experience, I can’t place too much faith in him just yet. Hopefully he’s a pleasant surprise this season.

Prediction: Starting Viper


  1. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 30, 2020 at 9:59 AM

    Nice one. Very much agree that Barrett is an important player despite the lack of proven experience and that the defensive coaches have earned some faith. That said, all the vipers so far have come through as DBs so this would be an interesting change. Barrett’s a bigger player so I wonder if he’ll have the same ability to dart around defenders and cover downfield the previous vipers had (even counting backups like Metellus and Glasgow).

    My guess is that it will work out fine unless a rising star emerges from the younger safeties. That may take a minute…a minute we may just have.

  2. Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Aug 31, 2020 at 9:39 AM

    Seeing #22 for Barrett initially made me raise an eyebrow. I thought he’d be much lower.

    I like your rationale and it makes my eyebrow lower a little bit, but a first-time starter which one could make the argument is an unproven position changer, I’d probably rate below the punter and kicker, but as we have two capable kickers, maybe just below the punter.

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