Name: Michael Barrett
Weight: 239 lbs.
High school: Valdosta (GA) Lowndes
Class: Sixth year senior
Jersey number: #23
Last year: I ranked Barrett #28 and said he would be a backup inside linebacker (LINK). He started thirteen games and made 72 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (returned for 52 yards and 1 touchdown), and 1 pass breakup.
TTB Rating: 82
Barrett has been around for five years already, going into year six. And you would be hard pressed to find a Michigan player who has had a more versatile career for the Wolverines. Barrett has spent at least a little bit of time at running back, slot receiver, safety/linebacker hybrid, inside linebacker, kickoff returner, and upback on the punt team, just to name a few. He has notched a passing attempt (1), rushing attempts (2), kickoff returns (4), tackles (143), sacks (5.5), interceptions (2), a defensive touchdown (1), and even an uncredited lateral that turned into a kickoff return touchdown for A.J. Henning against Maryland in 2021.
In fact, it would be easier to say what he hasn’t done: he has zero punt attempts, field goal attempts, extra points attempts, or receptions.
So even though Michigan has a potential early NFL draft entrant at inside linebacker (Junior Colson) and the #4 transfer recruit in the country (Ernest Hausmann), it’s hard for me to think Barrett won’t be starting for Michigan in his sixth and final year. Barrett doesn’t wow too often – though there was that highlight reel hit on Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan in 2020 – but he’s such a good all-around athlete and utility man that it’s great to have him around. As a coaching staff, it has to be nice to know that he can be asked to do various things on defense and special teams and perform all those tasks admirably. Durability used to be a concern, but he’s up to 239 pounds (from 233 last year) and generally holds up pretty well. This should be another solid year for the Georgia native.
P.S. Have I mentioned before that I like former high school quarterbacks?
Prediction: Starting inside linebacker and special teamer; 60 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception
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