The Wolverines coaching staff made it a point to build up the offensive line depth chart in the 2019 recruiting class and they’ve continued to do that with yet another offensive lineman addition as Paw Paw (MI) OL Karsen Barnhart has committed to Michigan.
— Karsen Barnhart (@k_ballin__) April 30, 2018
Barnhart is a versatile lineman with the size and tenacity needed in a Big Ten offensive lineman. But he’s still pretty raw. He has the frame to add a good amount of size and continue to move like he does. As a basketball player, he has good feet and bends well but still needs to add strength. With some more time in the weight room, cafeteria, and on the practice field, he could be a nice prospect on the line. At what position exactly? He could play all throughout the line but, depending on the size he puts on, his athleticism may keep him on the outside.
Athletic prospect who has played some tight end and shows good agility and foot speed for a big man. Tenacious, plays the game competitively and blocks to the whistle. Has the feet and base tools for pass protection. He does not have a ton of reps in pass pro yet, but has flashed ability there and is further along in that department than might be expected from a kid who played tight end in more of a run-oriented scheme. The keys for him in college are continuing to add weight and polish up technique, particularly in pass pro. He is already quite strong in the weight room and will only get stronger. Given his athleticism, strength, and overall demeanor, he is a high floor kind of prospect with upside to offer as well. Tackle is not completely out of the question, and neither is center, but we think he projects most likely as a guard. – Allen Trieu/247Sports
Like with most in-state recruits, the first of Michigan or MSU to offer Barnhart was seen as the favorite. It happens with most of the in-state players, especially those who are not the most highly ranked players in the rankings. And Barnhart was no different. Early on, he was expected to end up with Michigan State thanks to the early offer and interest from the Spartans earlier in the year. But things started to shift once Michigan offered and got him on campus.
Michigan and Michigan State, among others, kept pushing for Barnhart. But thanks to the multiple visits to Ann Arbor, Michigan completely swung the momentum and were expected to land the commitment. It didn’t happen as early as expected but thanks to a strong connection built between the staff and Barnhart, as well as the academic possibilities in Ann Arbor, the three-star lineman committed to the Wolverines while the team was over in Paris for Spring Break.
- Height 6’5”
- Weight: 282lbs
- Hometown (School): Paw Paw, MI (Paw Paw)
- Notable Offers: Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona State
- Rankings: Rivals (3*, #44 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #41 OT) – ESPN (3*, #36 OT)
- Composite Ranking: Three-star, #421 Overall, #39 OT, #12 in Michigan
New #Michigan commit Karsen Barnhart was a top performer at February’s Under Armour Camp. His athleticism on the basketball court impressed a lot of schools as well. https://t.co/mLOKythuUC pic.twitter.com/GV8tpl7goA
— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) April 30, 2018
As for the Rest of the Class
Barnhart is the 10th overall commitment, the 4th offensive lineman commitment, and the first in-state commitment for the class. After looking like it was going to clean up in-state, Michigan has backed off of a lot of in-state targets but there are still a couple top names to watch. That includes DT Mazi Smith, DE Michael Flecther and DE/OLB Ruke Orhorhoro. As for the offensive line, Michigan is still in excellent shape with OL William Harrod and OL Zach Carpenter and is still firmly in the running for OT Trevor Keegan and OT Xavier Truss. One name to watch as a possible addition to the class in the not-so-distant-future is Ohio State baseball commit, S/OLB Joey Velazquez.
Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog