Karsen Barnhart, Wolverine

Karsen Barnhart, Wolverine

April 30, 2018

Paw Paw (MI) Paw Paw OL Karsen Barnhart

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)


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Apr 30, 2018 at 8:13 PM

    Welcome young man. Now the coaches need to go out and start getting Tackles who project at Tackle!

  2. Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    May 01, 2018 at 12:21 AM

    Here is a question for Thunder. What do YOU think about 3 star OL vs. 4 star OL. Make the assumption that it isn’t a low 4 star vs. high 3 star.

    So what is the difference? Feet? Size or strength? I can’t really tell the difference. I can see the difference between a 5 star and 3 star. Size and power usually. It seems like a lot of these guys look like they need a couple of years in the weight room.

    Is there any way to tell on the tape that they know how to pick up assignments. This tape shows me at least on a couple of plays that he can actually pull and not lunge toward the defender. Kalis was a 5 star but pulled like a 1 star and he was a guard.

    I really wish there was more discussion on whether a recruit graded out on how many assignments that were executed properly and whether the recruit took the proper angle.

    I’d rather take guys who need 3 years of coaching and strength training to play at a high level than guys like Kalis who can play immediately but couldn’t block a moving target to save his life.

    • Comments: 1356
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      May 01, 2018 at 6:58 AM

      In your defense, this particular film isn’t very helpful for discerning who’s doing what to whom, as they don’t bother identifying the kid until after the action has started.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      May 01, 2018 at 12:11 PM

      A bit like comparing a B and B+ student in high school. There may be some marginal difference in probability of success at the aggregate level but when it comes down to individuals it’s basically irrelevant as a predictor of success.

  3. Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    May 01, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    79 rating? That’s quite high for a kid who is playing out of position against others half his size. I like the tape, I just can’t take too much from it. I don’t even know how you grade him but I’d probably say around 65 with your scale. He is aggressive and his athleticism is fun to watch. I thought I’d go back and look at Ryan Hayes again since they both played TE in high school. Hayes is a bit taller and thinner but similar athletes. You did give Hayes an 86 so a 79 for Barnhart is justifiable I guess. Thanks for the descriptive post.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 01, 2018 at 9:56 PM

      Small opponents or not, he still has plus athleticism and good size. I tend not to put too much stock in what these guys do to their opponents. It’s more about how the individual player’s body works. It will be fun to see how he develops.

    • Comments: 1356
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      May 02, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      He’s really not playing out of position so much. He’s the end line blocker on a running team. That translates to RT pretty easily on every issue with the exception of pass blocking. Clearly his feet work.

      I’m kind of with you on the beating up of little guys. If you recall, I had/have questions about Mayfield on the same issue. Mayfield got mention for being nasty in camps, I suppose that in a top level camp setting people are taking reps against equals in terms of size and ability … so ok, at least he’s consistent. I thought Mayfield approached “bully” with a borderline unnecessary level of nasty on the high school field. I don’t get that feeling watching Barnhart.

      I don’t think his feet are a helluvalot better than the two star kid they just grabbed off from the east coast. And I think that Barnhart is a sloppier 280, but I admit that the last thought is based on a grand total of three photos and two (one crappy) reels of tape.

      Hopefully Herbert turns them all into beasts. I’d sort of like to have the biggest offensive line in the nation to talk about. I’d more rather have the best, but I fantasize that the one comes with the other.

      • Comments: 3844
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        May 02, 2018 at 7:40 AM

        FWIW, I saw an interesting tweet a few days ago, although I can’t quote it exactly. It said the average NFL draft offensive lineman picked (or 1st round pick? I can’t remember the exact parameter) was 6’5″ and 279 lbs. in high school. So if we’re looking at a guy who’s listed at 6’5″, 280 lbs., then that seems to be an optimal size.

  4. Comments: 1356
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    May 02, 2018 at 7:40 AM

    Increasingly and particularly as I watch Onwenu develop I an in the camp that wants to put good weight on a 270 lbs 18 yr old kid with a “good frame” as opposed to taking weight off of the 330 lbs 18 year old kid who “is built to carry the weight”. That might reflect my life story in which I used to think it was hard to put weight on until I discovered how hard it is to get weight off.

You must belogged in to post a comment.