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Michigan Wolverines Football Signee Bio: Offensive Tackle Karsen Barnhart

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Four-star offensive tackle Karsen Barnhart has a tremendous upside because of his length and athleticism.

Paw Paw (Mich.) High four-star offensive tackle Karsen Barnhart is officially a Wolverine.


• Was named a member of the 2018 Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Division 4 All-State first team.

• Was named to The Detroit News All-State first team for Division 3-4 as a senior.

• Was included as a member of the Michigan Associated Press (AP) Division 3-4 All-State first team during his senior year, chosen by a panel of 11 sports writers.

• Was named to the 2018 Kalamazoo Gazette Dream Team offense as a senior.

• As a junior, he was a member of the 2018 Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Division 4 All-State second team.

• Listed on the Michigan AP Division 3-4 Football All-State second team as a junior by a panel of 11 sports writers.

• As a sophomore, he was named to the All-Wolverine Conference second team as an offensive lineman.


• Committed to Michigan April 30, 2018 via a FaceTime call with head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive line coach Ed Warinner while the team was in France.

• Warinner had a great rapport with Barnhart from his days at Minnesota and spearheaded the recruitment once he arrived at Michigan. Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore was also involved.

• Had a final three of Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana, and also held offers from schools like Arizona State, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, among others.

Did You Know?

• Started his senior season at tight end and caught four passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns before moving to tackle full time. As a junior, he caught 12 passes for 120 yards and a score while splitting time between tight end and O-line.

• Helped Paw Paw win its first playoff game since 2011.

• Was a four-year starter at Paw Paw.

• At Nike’s Opening regional camp in Canton, Barnhart ran 5.25 seconds in the 40 and a 5.08 in the shuttle drill. He marked a 35.0-foot power ball throw and a 26.5-inch vertical jump for a Nike+ Football Rating of 69.63.

• Attended the Under Armour camp in Cleveland in the spring of 2018.

• Also attended the Grand Valley State University Best of the Midwest camp in the summer of 2017 and really began to garner attention after a strong performance.

• Is the first Power Five prospect from Paw Paw in the Rivals era (2002-present).

• Was named one of 20 “Kalamazoo Area Players To Watch” by for his prowess on the basketball court after averaging a double-double last year as a junior.

They Said It Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt: “Barnhart is probably a right tackle at the college level and I do think he can stay on the edge. He’s just got a really good combination of size, strength and athleticism for the position. I thought he made good strides as a senior and that’s the reason he got a bump up to four stars.”

Paw Paw head coach Matt Stephens: “He has a frame that’s pretty special. Even back when he was a sophomore he was without a doubt our biggest guy so that was noticeable right away. Once I started working with him I obviously noticed even more.

“He’s very strong and he’s quick off the ball. He also moves very well in space. He not only has the ability to get into someone and move them physically, but he’s the kind of athlete that can really get downfield to the second and third levels and get on a player in the open field. He’s great at maintaining and sustaining blocks in those situations. He was a four-year starter, too, so he has a lot of experience doing a lot of things.”

2019 Projection

Coming from a small town like Paw Paw, Barnhart has a chance to really explode once at Michigan. He’s going to train, practice, work out and eat like a pro at U-M, and he could really benefit from all of that because he’s already such a naturally talented athlete.

On the flip side, it could be a shock to his system. He’s never faced anyone as big, strong or athletic as himself and that can take some getting used to for small-town kids. However he personally develops, he likely won’t be needed as a true freshman, so he’ll have the opportunity to skyrocket and acclimate depending on how it all affects him.

• Talk about this article inside The Fort

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