Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2011

Tag: Chris Barnett

13Apr 2021
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Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2011

Blake Countess (image via Alchetron)

Here’s a look back at the recruits who did not pan out for Michigan in 2011, the transition class between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.


Chris Barnett – Tight end – Hurst (TX) L.D. Bell
Barnett was an outstanding tight end coming out of high school.  He tore his ACL during his senior year and struggled to regain his playing shape.  When he arrived at Michigan in the summer of 2011 for his freshman season, he weighed 278 lbs.  By late August the distance from home, the summer classwork, and the required physical conditioning forced him to leave the program and re-evaluate his options.  He enrolled at a Texas junior college, but left that program.
Current status: Unknown

Russell Bellomy – Quarterback – Arlington (TX) Martin
After the decommitment of Kevin Sousa in December 2010 (see below), Michigan was scrambling for a more traditional quarterback, whereas Sousa had been a dual-threat guy. He was previously committed to Purdue, but that changed when Michigan came calling. He redshirted in 2011. Then he played in five games in 2012, including stepping in for Denard Robinson against Nebraska, which was an ugly performance (3/16, 38 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT), and stuck around through 2014. Altogether, he was 4/23 for 46 yards and 4 interceptions at Michigan. He transferred to UTSA as a senior in 2015, completing 4/10 passes for 39 yards and rushing 7 times for 21 yards.
Current status: Out of football

Greg Brown – Cornerback – Fremont (OH) Ross
Brown was the first commitment of the 2011 class after choosing the Wolverines in September of 2009.  He enrolled early in January 2011, but was one of those kids who was caught in the middle between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.  Rodriguez recruited him, but he wasn’t fired until January, when Brown was already on campus.  The cornerback received mixed reviews in spring practices and played sparingly on special teams at the beginning of the 2011 season, but decided to transfer mid-season.  He played sparingly for Findlay in 2012, then transferred to Iowa Central Community College prior to the 2013 season.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for more.

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8Jan 2012
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: The Class of 2011

Oklahoma’s Kellen Jones (#52) and Tony Jefferson bring down Iowa C.J. Fiedorowicz in the endzone
(image via Greenwich Time)

Former Michigan cornerback Greg Brown left the program mid-season and has transferred to Findlay, a D-II school.

Former Michigan commit and current Miami Hurricane defensive back Dallas Crawford redshirted this past season.

Former Michigan commit and current Oregon Duck offensive tackle Jake Fisher played a backup role in 13 games this season.

Former Michigan commit and current Miami Hurricane kicker Matt Goudis redshirted this past season.

Former Michigan signee and current Oklahoma Sooner linebacker Kellen Jones played as a backup and special teamer in 11 games this past season, making 9 total tackles.

Former Michigan commit and current Wake Forest Demon Deacon quarterback Kevin Sousa redshirted this past season.

The future plans of former Michigan tight end Chris Barnett and former offensive lineman Tony Posada are unknown.  Both decided to leave the program after they were already enrolled at Michigan this past fall.

For recaps of these players and more, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.

25Aug 2011
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Chris Barnett Plans to Continue with Football

As reported earlier today, freshman TE Chris Barnett is no longer with the University of Michigan football program. Per our conversation this afternoon, Barnett is back with his family in Texas and intends to enroll at another school after he reviews all of his options. “Everything is moving so fast,” he said. “[I’ll be looking] at whatever’s out there.” Barnett stated he will address his reasons for leaving the program after “declaring a new school.” A time frame for that decision has understandably not yet been established.
Chris always presented as a respectful, humble young man during our conversations, often addressing me as “Sir” and describing himself as a “family man.” I’m sure I speak for the Michigan community when I say that we wish him only the best going forward. To learn more about Barnett as both a player and a person, check out an interview with him from earlier this summer.

5Jul 2011
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Getting to Know — Chris Barnett

New TE arrival Chris Barnett thinks it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine. After previously committing to both Oklahoma and Arkansas, Chris couldn’t be happier with his final decision to don the winged helmet. “From visiting with Chris and talking with him about it, he loved everything about his visit to Michigan,” states Barnett’s high school coach Mark Smith. Likewise, Michigan should be pleased with what Chris brings to the table, Coach explains.

“A couple things come to mind when I think of Chris and the way that he plays: #1 is that he’s versatile, and #2 is that he’s explosive. We used Chris in a variety of different ways. We used him in the traditional tight end position; we also used him in the backfield as the fullback, motioning him around a little bit. And we also split him out wide, going three by one, putting him out there by himself — matching him up against a corner and using his length, his athleticism and his physicality to our advantage.”

Chris’ athletic ability may have allowed him to wear many offensive hats against high school competition; however, most observers expect Barnett to play a typical TE role at Michigan. So Coach Smith speaks to that as well.

“Blocking was critical for us and when he got his hands on you, then you were going the other direction. But what I liked about him was how physical he was. And I think Michigan is going to get a really physical, mature player — right away”

So I’d imagine that it’s cool to be Chris Barnett right now. He’s about to receive a free world-class education while showcasing his athletic abilities in front of 110,000 people every Saturday. But while Chris thanks god for his talents and is a “family man,” circumstances for him haven’t always been so positive.

“Growing up, it was always a back and forth situation between my mom’s and my dad’s. I never had a secure place to be; I never really knew who wanted me and who didn’t…I mean, we’ve been homeless and I was sleeping on a washing machine and dryer. I had to take my jeans off and wrap my shoes up in my jeans and use it as a pillow. So life’s been a struggle. And that’s where football came into it….”

Despite these hardships, Barnett has developed good relationships with many members of his sizable family, several of whom are also athletes. His brother, Eryon Barnett, plays CB for the Texas Longhorns, and a close cousin plays FCS ball. No stranger to adversity, however, Barnett experienced an injury on the football field at the beginning of his senior year.

“I tore my ACL in early October, and I didn’t have surgery for it until December, because like I said, me and my mom, we struggle. We don’t have a whole bunch of money. So the injury thing wasn’t to the point where I could go get surgery. But I’ve been working out really hard…I came up on the spring game, and I was 295 [lbs]. Right now, I’m 272. Coach wants me to be 280 — no [not any] more than 280. But at the same time, I’m getting stronger. I’m crisp [while] running. My knee that I had surgery on still isn’t 100%, so I go about 80/85%. But talking to Coach, I still have 2 months [before the season starts] to rehab with them. I don’t know, but I’m trying. But if I’m not ready and Coach doesn’t let me play and I got to redshirt, then I got to redshirt. It is what it is. And if it is, well, then I feel sorry for whoever we play next year.”

With a host of mitigating factors, it’s difficult to predict whether or not Chris will see the field his freshman year. But it doesn’t appear that his HS coach would be surprised to see Barnett on the field in 2011.

“Chris understands that he has to go in and earn a position there and find a hole that he can fit into and he can play. I know when Coach Hoke and the staff were here [in Texas], they expressed that they didn’t have many tight ends on the roster. At that spot in particular, they were going to have to have some freshman contribute. I know Chris and the way that he works and his habits on the field are going to put him in a position to contribute right away….”

Early PT or not, it sounds like Chris is doing his best to help “lay the foundation” for Michigan’s future. Not only is Barnett keeping in shape and preparing for the season, but he is also creating a winning mindset.

“We [Chris Bryant, Frank Clark, Justice Hayes] have been talking constantly, like every day, about the things that we’re trying to accomplish. And I told everybody, ‘this is the coaches’ first year; we’re the freshman recruiting class; we’re the first people to come in with them…so it’s really our job to lay down a foundation.”

Chris was so excited to start laying the foundation that he caught a plane to SE Michigan early in the morning on Friday June 24th. Presumably, Barnett then unpacked his bags, said “what’s up?” to his new roommate Chris Bryant and began breaking ground.
25Jun 2011
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Freshman Numbers Revealed

A poster over at Rivals posted the following jersey numbers for the incoming freshmen.  I’m not sure how accurate they are, but here’s what he gave:

3 Russell Bellomy
5 Justice Hayes
18 Blake Countess
20 Tamani Carter
21 Raymon Taylor
24 Delonte Holowell
35 Greg Brown
38 Thomas Rawls
40 Antonio Poole
44 Desmond Morgan
45 Matt Wile
52 Kellen Jones
57 Frank Clark
58 Chris Bryant
79 Tony Posada
82 Chris Barnett
92 Keith Heitzman
95 Chris Rock
97 Brennen Beyer

Sorry, I did not get Russell Bellomy (EDIT: Bellomy is #3.  Thanks, readers!) or Jack Miller.