10 too-early Michigan football ball predictions for 2023

Syndication: The Herald-Times

While Colston Loveland, who will be entering his second year, should be poised to truly break out, AJ Barner already has ability, time on task, and is now in a system that should better utilize his talents.

Here is what Michigan tight ends coach Grant Newsome told WolverinesWire about Barner’s ability last week:

“First, just physically very imposing, extremely well-built, very tall and athletic, physically, can do all the kind of inline blocking that we ask our guys to do, which is not the case across the country,” Newsome said. β€œIt’s tough to and he’s (done) it not just in college, but in this conference, which is tough. And then, obviously, you watch the Ohio State game they played last year and he goes up and catches a fade on one of their corners. So he really kind of fits all that we do, he can handle the inline stuff and the running game and also be able to go out and flex out and catch passes.”

At Indiana, Barner had 28 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns in 2022, after having 13 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown in 2021. Though Loveland eclipsed those numbers in his first year, given that he’ll get added attention in 2023, it should open up the doors for Michigan to target Barner that much more.

Really, we’re just hedging our bets here. Either Barner or Loveland could be a solid choice to have an enigmatic season this next year, and given that Barner has been a multi-year player at a college program already, we’re betting he takes off in 2023.

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