The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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40 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY AUSTIN FOX Not too many players have the capa- bilities that former Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers (2014-16) had, but Val- dosta (Ga.) Lowndes three-star athlete Michael Barrett might just fit the bill. Peppers primarily played defensive back and linebacker during his time at Michigan, but also saw action on the offensive side of the football, as a wildcat quarterback, slot receiver and running back. Barrett revealed that the Michigan coaches plan on utilizing him in a sim- ilar capacity once he arrives in Ann Arbor. "They told me they're going to use me in a Jabrill Peppers-type role," Barrett explained. "He played a lot of wildcat quarterback while he was here, and that's exactly what they want to do with me. I can throw the ball better than he could, though, so they said they'll have a special package for me to throw. "In fact, they said they've already drawn up 15 or so plays for me on of- fense — I was obviously pretty excited when I heard that." Barrett said Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh also told him he'll take on several other offensive roles as well. "My main position will actually be running back, but Coach Harbaugh said he's going to try me at receiver too," the Georgia native revealed. "He just wants to get the ball in my hands. I don't really have a prefer- ence as to what I play — I only want to touch the ball on offense, because that's what I'm best at. "I'm one of those players who de- fenses have to account for every time they're on the field. I like to consider myself a game changer — someone who can change the momentum of a game in the blink of an eye." Barrett certainly lived up to that "game changer" status during his career at Lowndes. Tift County head coach Ashley An- ders — whose program resides in the same conference as Lowndes and has faced Barrett all four years — gave his take on the talented youngster. "I remember back when Michael was a quarterback in the ninth grade," said Anders. "We could al- ready tell then he was going to be a special player. It was also obvious how big of a competitor he was. "He played quarterback against us each time we faced him, but he also played linebacker when we saw him as a sophomore. He's such a great athlete and is so versatile." Michael Barrett Will Have A Jabrill Peppers-Type Role On Offense Barrett was named the Georgia 7A (largest classification) Offensive Player of the Year by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after passing for 1,795 yards and running for 1,195 as a senior. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN STATISTICS (RUSHING) Year Att. Yards TD Avg. 2017 129 1,195 13 9.2 2016 168 1,283 21 7.6 2015 30 169 4 5.6 HONORS • Named first-team All-State and the Offensive Player of the Year for the 7A classification (the state's largest) by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. • Was a Class 7A All-State honorable mention selection by The Atlanta Jour- nal-Constitution as a junior. RECRUITMENT • Committed to Michigan on Jan. 23, 2018. • Chose U-M over Georgia Tech, LSU and Nebraska. • Is Michigan's third signee from the state of Georgia, joining Buford High three -star running back Christian Turner and Atlanta Westlake four-star cornerback Myles Sims. • Head coach Jim Harbaugh and running backs coach Jay Harbaugh headed Barrett's recruitment. MICHAEL BARRETT ATHLETE 6-0 • 215 LOWNDES HIGH SCHOOL VALDOSTA, GA. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — — 69 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 70 90 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 49 64 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2018 Projection Barrett has been informed by the Michigan coaches he will be used in a role similar to the one Jabrill Peppers had in U-M's offense. That could mean taking snaps as a wild- cat quarterback, receiving hand- offs or catching passes out of the backfield — there is also a chance he could see time on special teams and defense. His versatility should allow him to see the field in some capacity as a freshman. 40 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018

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