Michael Barrett, Wolverine

Michael Barrett, Wolverine

January 24, 2018

Valdosta (GA) Lowndes RB Michael Barrett (image via Valdosta Today)

Valdosta (GA) Lowndes quarterback/running back/slot receiver/safety Michael Barrett committed to Michigan on Tuesday night. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Nebraska, among others.

Barrett is listed at 6’0″ and 215 lbs. He claims a 4.43 forty on his Hudl page (hint: don’t trust that number), a 305 lb. bench, a 480 lb. squat, a 4.46 shuttle, and a 34″ vertical.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #50 ATH
Rivals: 3-star ATH
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #69 ATH, #819 overall

Hit the jump for more on Barrett’s recruitment.

Michigan offered Barrett back in March of 2017, and then they also offered his teammate, offensive tackle Jalen Goss. Barrett initially looked like a longshot, and I expected his recruitment to blow up a little bit more. But the big-time teams didn’t come after him too hard, and he narrowed it down to Florida State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, and Nebraska. As a high school quarterback, some option teams – particularly GT and Nebraska – wanted him to be a quarterback in college. Goss went ahead and committed to FSU (where former Michigan offensive tackles coach Greg Frey now resides), while Barrett was rumored to be planning to announce a commitment – likely to Michigan – on his birthday. The birthday plan didn’t play out, but he eventually picked the Wolverines at halftime of his high school basketball team’s game on Tuesday night.

Barrett is 6’0″, 215 lbs., which means he’s thicker than the average high school six-footer. His lifting numbers – if they’re not falsely inflated like his forty time – are impressive, and he’s a strong runner. He uses the long-lost art of the stiff-arm, and he’s not afraid to lower his shoulder to punish defenders. He has good vision and some change-of-direction ability. As a quarterback, he has some pretty good mechanics and a strong, accurate arm with touch, but his height is an issue, so his throwing ability is mitigated for a team like Michigan.

On the negative side, Barrett lacks great long speed. He has good acceleration and runs hard, but he’s going to get tracked down from behind. Unless he breaks some tackles, there’s a cap on his big plays once defensive backs get in the hunt.

Overall, I like Barrett as a running back. I’ve heard rumors that he will be looked at as a slot receiver, and I don’t buy that. When’s the last time you saw a successful 6’0″, 215 lb. slot receiver in college? That’s a running back’s build. Michigan has also talked to him about being used as a Wildcat quarterback, which I love. The Wolverines could use some extra pizzazz on offense, and since their quarterbacks are largely stationary, it would be great to put together a sizable package for Barrett to run some zone reads, power reads, and maybe throw the ball on occasion. Barrett also reminds me of those tailbacks at Stanford who have had success under David Shaw and Jim Harbaugh in yesteryear (prior to Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love).

Michigan now has 21 commitments in the 2018 class, and Barrett is the third running back (the spot where I project him), joining Hassan Haskins and Christian Turner. He is the fourth player from the Peach State to select Michigan in this cycle, following Turner, CB Myles Sims, and LB Otis Reese.

TTB Rating: 82 (ratings explanation)


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 118
    Joined: 10/22/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    I really liked the videos on him. They’re Tebowish. Hopefully the OC (whoever that may be) finds a way to maximize his talents.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    This is the first kid in a long, long time that I would consider a handing the ball to 20 times a game.

    First of all, while I agree with Thunder that he isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder, this is a kid that wants to keep running. He would much rather make you miss and keep going than plow you and then fall down.

    Secondly, he doesn’t take shots, at least at the high end of high school football. Ain’t nobody launching themselves at him because they’re all scared to death he’s going to make them miss, or worse yet look stupid while missing. They all come at him with their hips sunk and flat footed, if not on their heels. And he still makes them miss. The one kid he does plow is sitting down when Barrett hits him.

    It will be interesting to see if his decision making is as good getting handed the ball and driving towards the line of scrimmage as it is standing there, deciding to pull it and take off somewhere. Those are two completely different things.

  3. GKblue
    Comments: 359
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    I think having a viable wildcat QB would if nothing else keep the defenses busy preparing for him. Please if we do, give him more than Peppers was given.

    I think RB first. Secondly, and this may be purely wishful thinking, let him move up to wildcat to shake things up and make us less predictable. And finally if the O coaches crap the bed again, maybe Brown will steal him for viper.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 6:02 PM

    If I can get excited about a 3-star it’s probably Barrett. I agree with the others, I think he’s a RB. Don’t really see anything else. However, he looks like a natural RB. One that makes guys miss, has very good vision, has a sense for balance and momentum while running, makes quick cutbacks. He may not have elite speed but I think he’s faster than we’re giving him credit for. Definitely faster than Turner and Haskins.

    I watched both senior and junior year tape and I could really care less about his arm. To me, he might throw the ball 5 times in college and they’ll most likely be near the goal line. His evaluation should be as a RB.

    I actually think Thunder could be low on this one! I’d probably put him in the 84-85 range. RB’s are tricky in recruiting. I was never high on Kareem Walker or Derrick Green. Don’t understand Kurt Taylor at all. All 3 current commits have some unique talents and I’m excited to see which one steps up to become a major weapon. I think one of them will and as of right now I’d put my money on Barrett.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    Wonder what this means for recruiting 2019 RBs? I know Crouch was in play but by taking 3 RB’s in a small class might be a sign that our chances with the higher recruited 2019 kids aren’t trending the right way. Then again, we probably shouldn’t expect elite kids to favor UM until they start winning.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 24, 2018 at 9:08 PM

      I don’t think the 2019 recruiting situation is really relevant to these guys. Some of these guys could play other positions, and some of the guys already on the roster could end up elsewhere. A lot of running backs transfer. That’s just the way college football is.

      Higdon is gone after 2018, and I’m guessing at least one other guy (if not two) from the current roster does not play out his career at Michigan.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 117
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    Jan 24, 2018 at 8:56 PM

    So, with all the great reviews this kid has received on this site and others, why only 3 stars? Didnt camp much? Mainly rated as a QB?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 24, 2018 at 9:04 PM

      a) He’s playing out of position in high school. Unless he went to Georgia Tech or maybe Nebraska, nobody has seen him play the position he’ll play in college.
      b) He’s not fast.

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