2023 Season Countdown: #22 A.J. Barner

2023 Season Countdown: #22 A.J. Barner

August 14, 2023
A.J. Barner (#89, image via SI)

Name: A.J. Barner
251 lbs.
High school: 
Aurora (OH) Aurora
Tight end
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Barner played at Indiana. He had 28 catches for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

Somewhat ridiculously, Michigan lost four tight ends from last year who played regularly: Erick All (transfer to Iowa), Luke Schoonmaker (drafted by the Cowboys), Joel Honigford (undrafted free agent signed by the Arizona Cardinals), and walk-on Carter Selzer (graduation), the last of whom played in 28 games over the past couple seasons. That doesn’t include Louis Hansen, who transferred to UConn.

Also somewhat ridiculously, tight end is still a position of strength for the Wolverines. The top guy is Colston Loveland, but Barner is pushing him, and they should make a good duo. Matt Hibner and Max Bredeson have also played quite a bit, and the fifth guy is 4-star Marlin Klein, whom everyone around the program thinks is a freak athlete.

The interesting thing about Barner is that he’s a guy who can play both on and off the line – along with Loveland – so they can be used interchangeably, they can shift and trade, and it won’t necessarily tip off defenses. Barner had a decent season for a struggling Indiana Hoosiers team last year and was named a team captain, so the leadership is there. I think it will be tough for any individual receiver (wideout or tight end) to put up great numbers because of the dominant running game that exists, but I think both Barner and Loveland will have some big plays this season because of their length and athleticism. They should be fun to watch.

Prediction: Part-time starting tight end; 20 catches for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns

You must belogged in to post a comment.