2022 Season Countdown: #26 Karsen Barnhart

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16Aug 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #26 Karsen Barnhart

Karsen Barnhart

Name: Karsen Barnhart
Height: 
6’5″
Weight: 
308 lbs.
High school: 
Paw Paw (MI) Paw Paw
Position: 
Offensive tackle
Class: 
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
#52
Last year: 
I ranked Barnhart #24a and said he would be the starting right tackle (LINK). He started two games at left guard.
TTB Rating:
 86

For the second year in a row, Barnhart served as Michigan’s extra lineman. He’s a utility man who can start at either tackle or either guard spot. When he was a redshirt freshman in 2020, he got a bunch of playing time on a bad offensive line. Last year he played left guard when Trevor Keegan couldn’t go, but he also was a backup tackle in blowouts. Barnhart has not really left an indelible mark as a beast of a player just waiting to break out of his cage, but he has been solid and has a good athletic profile to be “next.”

Last year’s pure blocking tight end, sixth lineman Trente Jones, is likely to start at right tackle now that Andrew Stueber has moved on to the NFL. I will be curious to see if Barnhart takes on Jones’s role as a blocking tight end, or if the staff will simply let the tight ends handle the tight end role, since the tight end room is so stacked with talent. Regardless of whether Barnhart is a blocking tight end or just the backup at guard/tackle, he’s going to play a lot. And when 2023 rolls around, he will probably have a starting role somewhere along the line.

Prediction: Backup offensive lineman

16Aug 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #27 Brad Robbins

Brad Robbins (image via 247 Sports)

Name: Brad Robbins
Height: 
6’1″
Weight: 
205 lbs.
High school: 
Westerville (OH) South
Position: 
Punter
Class: 
Sixth year senior
Jersey number: 
#91
Last year: 
I ranked Robbins #15 and said he would be the starting punter (LINK). He punted 45 times for 2,085 yards (46.3 yards/punt) and put 17 of them inside the 20-yard line.
TTB Rating:
 70

Robbins was a standout punter in 2021, averaging 46.3 yards per punt, which is second only to Will Hart’s average of 47.0 yards per punt in 2018. He’s come a long way from the point where he was struggling, had a back injury, and entered the transfer portal earlier in his career. He had a 65-yard punt against Penn State and a 64-yarder against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game. Altogether, his performance in 2021 earned him Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors.

So it might seem to make sense to rank him higher on the list, except the backup punter is Tommy Doman. Doman averaged 44.8 yards per punt as a senior in high school in 2020 and was an Under Armour All-American. I’m guessing Robbins is still a better punter at this point, but how large is the gap between the two? I expect Robbins to be the starting punter again in 2022 and have a solid season.

Prediction: Starting punter

15Aug 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #28 Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Michael Barrett
Height: 
6’0″
Weight: 
233 lbs.
High school: 
Valdosta (GA) Lowndes
Position: 
Linebacker
Class: 
Fifth year senior
Jersey number: 
#23
Last year: 
I ranked Barrett #20 and said he would be a starting inside linebacker (LINK). He made 20 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup while starting one game.
TTB Rating:
 82

Barrett is a former high school quarterback, and I love me some quarterbacks. It just seems like when you’re a Division I-caliber athlete with the smarts and leadership to play quarterback, you’re likely to figure it out at the next level. But the switch from defensive coordinator Don Brown to Mike Macdonald didn’t bode well for the former hybrid linebacker/safety, and now the move to Jesse Minter doesn’t seem any better, since he coaches the same system as Macdonald.

Michigan will probably play more of a true nickel safety rather than a linebacker, and anyway, Barrett has added six pounds since last year and is playing more inside linebacker. He appears to be the #3 guy at inside linebacker behind Junior Colson and Nikhai Hill-Green. I would expect him to play special teams, too, where he has been valuable over the past few years.

Prediction: Backup inside linebacker, special teamer

15Aug 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #29 Luke Schoonmaker

Luke Schoonmaker (image via USA Today)

Name: Luke Schoonmaker
Height: 
6’6″
Weight: 
250 lbs.
High school: 
Hamden (CT) Hamden Hall
Position: 
Tight end
Class: 
Fifth year senior
Jersey number: 
#86
Last year: 
I ranked Schoonmaker #32 and said he would be a backup tight end (LINK). He caught 17 passes for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:
 81

Schoonmaker, a former high school quarterback, has improved year after year. He represents exactly what one should expect from a Jim Harbaugh-coached tight end. If you play tight end for Harbaugh, you’re probably going to develop into a pro candidate. There are some who think Schoonmaker has improved as a blocker to the point where he’s the best blocker at his position group, which is saying something, considering other tight ends include starter Erick All and former offensive lineman Joel Honigford. But Schoonmaker has also turned into a solid receiver, with 2 touchdowns against Indiana and a couple one-handed catches during his career. Despite being just a part-time starter and tying for 8th on the team in receptions, he was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media.

The 2022 season should be more of the same. Schoonmaker is a quality player, but he will have to share time with All, Honigford, and others. There’s also talk that youngsters Matt Hibner, Louis Hansen, and Colston Loveland – who all have barely played or not played at all – are good enough to get on the field. Schoonmaker will play a bunch, and he might even be good enough to get drafted in 2023, but he probably won’t see a leap in production because the tight end room is so crowded.

Prediction: Part-time starting tight end; 20 catches for 190 yards and 4 touchdowns

14Aug 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #30 William Wagner

William Wagner (image via MGoBlue)

Name: William Wagner
Height: 
6’2″
Weight: 
258 lbs.
High school: 
Alpharetta (GA) Alpharetta
Position: 
Long snapper
Class: 
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
#49
Last year: 
I ranked Wagner #28 and said he would be the starting long snapper (LINK). He started every game.
TTB Rating:
 N/A

Wagner became the starting long snapper in 2020 when Camaron Cheeseman opted out of the season. As far as I can remember, the past two years have been two years where most Michigan fans couldn’t have named the long snapper. That usually means the snaps have been pretty automatic.

There’s no reason to expect that he will be anything different this season than he was the last two years. If he can do that and stay healthy, hooray! If not, there are unknown quantities in redshirt sophomore Greg Tarr and true freshman Evan Boutorwick. Both were solid walk-on pickups according to the sites that chart long snappers, but they haven’t snapped in a game yet.

Prediction: Starting long snapper