Hello: Karsen Barnhart Comment Count

Ace April 30th, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Recruiting doesn't stop even when the team is in France. Three-star Paw Paw (Michigan) offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart announced his commitment to the home-state Wolverines and included a picture of Jim Harbaugh's reaction from Paris:

Barnhart chose Michigan over fellow finalists Michigan State and Indiana, and he also held notable Big Ten offers from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. He is the tenth commit in the 2019 class and the fourth along the offensive line, joining Nolan Rumler, Trente Jones, and Jack Stewart.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #44 OT 3*, 79, #36 OT 3*, 89, #41 OT,
#379 Ovr
3*, #39 OT,
#421 Ovr

So close.

Anyway, Barnhart isn't far off four-star status despite being from noted football hotbed Paw Paw. Rivals has handed out four stars to their top 31 OTs, and Barnhart sits directly behind commits to TCU, (pulls out bullhorn for commenters) Ohio State, and Florida in their position rankings. He's the very top three-star OT on ESPN. 247 has just four three-stars ahead of him in their position rankings; he's actually two spots ahead of fellow M commit Trente Jones there, though that may not last long after Jones had a big-time performance at the Under Armour Atlanta camp.

Add it all up and Barnhart is only five position spots off the four-star pace in the composite rankings, surrounded by prospects headed to likes of Florida, Washington, South Carolina, and LSU. Am I emphasizing this in a probably fruitless attempt to head off the three-star mafia? Perhaps.

Barnhart has excellent size for a rising senior at 6'4", 282 pounds. While he doesn't have ideal blindside protector length, he could fit on the interior or tackle depending on need and development.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


As you might expect, not a lot of recruiting gurus have made their way to Paw Paw for an in-person evaluation; thankfully, Barnhart has at least hit up a couple camps in addition to releasing junior film.

Everything we have on Barnhart is, unsurprisingly, from 247, which has had a couple different scouts catch Barnhart in person. Allen Trieu, who first caught Barnhart at last summer's Best of the Midwest, wrote up his free eval for his profile page:

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

Both Trieu and Steve Wiltfong saw Barnhart a couple months ago at the Under Armour Cleveland camp, where Trieu came up with an enticingly specific Michigan comparable:

He showed quick feet and twitch and he competes hard. He measured 6-foot-4, but still has a chance to be a tackle at that size because of his athleticism, but may be best as a guard. Think Mason Cole.

Wiltfong thought he was the best tackle in attendance:

Paw Paw (Mich.) High 2019 Karsen Barnhart was the best offensive tackle at the event. From a frame standpoint he projects better inside but has the feet to play tackle. Michigan State and Michigan are battling there.

Athletic, strong swing lineman it is. Cole didn't get a chance to show his full ability at Michigan because he had to play a couple seasons out of position at left tackle, but in doing so, he certainly showed the value in having versatile linemen on the depth chart. Ideally, the coaches bring in some monster prototype tackles and Barnhart gets to settle in at guard, but he could potentially contribute at any spot on the line.


Barnhart had a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Indiana; he also holds offers from Arizona State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, and several MAC programs.


Barnhart is the first Power 5 prospect to come from Paw Paw in the RIvals era (2002-present). The only other D-I signee out of the school in that time period was 2016 OL Mike VanHoeven, who signed with Eastern Michigan.


Barnhart has SPARQ-verified, zero-FAKE combine numbers of 5.25 in the 40, 5.08 in the shuttle, 26.5-inch vertical, and 35.0-foot powerball throw for an overall score of 69.63. While that's not an elite mark, his agility (shuttle) and explosiveness (vertical) look solid, as does his strength (powerball). 


Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Add Barnhart to the pile of linemen who will eventually sort out between guard and tackle over the next few years. Given the large 2017 O-line class and the nature of being a lineman, Barnhart should take a redshirt year before competing for a spot on the two-deep. Depending on the development of the guys in front of him, his path to the field may be shortest at guard, where both Mike Onwenu and Ben Bredeson are set to graduate in a couple years.

Barnhart could bounce between tackle and guard as Michigan finds its best linemen over his first few years. His versatility and size give him a good chance of contributing down the line, and he's got some upside, especially at guard.


Michigan is up to ten total commits in the class and four on the offensive line. Nolan Rumler, the top-rated lineman in the class, is almost certainly an interior-only prospect, while Jack Stewart and Barnhart are both potential guard/tackle swing players. I'd expect the coaches to keep pursuing top tackle prospects to add to Trente Jones, by far the most tackle-like of the current haul.



April 30th, 2018 at 6:07 PM ^

If Dobbs is gonna feel slighted by getting an offer a little later than MSU, who just throws out offers to all top Michigan players regardless of fit, and then constantly kinda have an attitude when asked about us then I'm fine with him not being on the team. Maybe it's Aubrey Soloman situation, who knows (probably not)


May 1st, 2018 at 10:22 AM ^

As of now, based on 247, we're out of the running for all but 1 of the top 10 players in the state. Now I'm not sure if we've offered all top 10 in-state players scholarships yet or not....but we definitely aren't controlling the talent in our own backyard. Hopefully we'll be able to backfill these losses with out of state guys but that's usually a more difficult task than in-state guys. 


We'll just have to wait and see what happens this fall.


April 30th, 2018 at 4:03 PM ^

Technically speaking this commitment also puts us back above OSU on the team rankings after they passed us over the weekend (waves tiny flag).

Strong athletic o line guy sounds great to me. 


April 30th, 2018 at 4:14 PM ^

As the TE. That means that he's athletic, and it also makes it perhaps more likely the talent evaluators have not been able to assess him where he's going to play in college.

Double Plus.

The Fan in Fargo

April 30th, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

Exactly. He has the coordination and quickness to get in the second level, pick up a linebacker and maneuver into position to hold that block. You see so many lineman go for the kill with those quick guys and end up blowing it. Holding the block is far more important, unless if you can crush guys every time. Yet to be seen lately. Counting on you dudes Warinner and Herbert.  


April 30th, 2018 at 4:29 PM ^

Good/great offensive lines are built on three and four star kids, many of them local, who have the time, talent, physique and smarts to develop over the course of 5 years.  Barnhart fits the bill.

Sure, teams aiming for elite status need a Top 50 Cesar Ruiz-type every year or two, to give you the ability to plug & play more quickly at certain times. But generally speaking, you need raw numbers and then use all those bodies to start contributing in the RS Sophomore and later years.


April 30th, 2018 at 4:35 PM ^

3 star offensive lineman. I would rather the coaches pick a kid with good bend, lateral movement, great frame, mean streak, and nimble feet. Don't get me wrong, I would take a 5 star, because they tend to have these things, (thus the high rating) but lineman are hard to judge.


April 30th, 2018 at 4:55 PM ^

I don’t care about stars when it comes to OL. Just regularly take a lot of them and let them develop under a quality coach for a few years.


April 30th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

I think the class is coming together nicely. Seeing Hinton and Herron on there still makes me smile. I’m not a huge follower of recruiting like I was when I was at Michigan, but the recruits will come in droves when we start winning some big games and I think and hope that’s about to happen. This kid seems like a nice addition.


April 30th, 2018 at 5:17 PM ^

1-2 more Prototypical Tackles and be done on OL?

Seems like Jones is the only "Tackle-sized" guy thus far - (LOVED the snippets of him from the recent Atlanta Camp BTW) - although as we saw from Cole you don't need the NFL size to be a good college LT.


Welcome Mr. Barnhart!

OG Killa Bobby…

April 30th, 2018 at 5:46 PM ^

If you take the time to watch the video (against inferior competition), he does an amazing job of keep his pad level low and getting to the second level. 


Really like him based on the tape. 


April 30th, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

I know as fans we want to sign every 4-5 star guy and every in state guy and every guy were in a battle with a rival over and people are upset about the oline but there is a limit.

How many offensive tackles would you like on the roster at any one time?

Currently we have
Steubs, Honigford, JBB, Runyan, Filiaga, Hudson, Hayes, Mayfield and Jones(commit) and Newsome(medical). We will probably take 1 more in this class. We can't keep taking tackles.