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Transfer TE AJ Barner could be a threat in Michigan’s passing game

A look at what Sherrone Moore had to say about the IU transfer.

Michigan Spring Football Game Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

Indiana transfer tight end AJ Barner joined a program in Michigan that knows how to consistently utilize their tight ends. Whether a tight end is blocking or receiving, they’re on the field often in the Wolverines offense. In fact, that was what Barner found to be “the most intriguing part” about Michigan from his perspective.

“They just have a tradition of using the tight ends in an NFL manner with what coach Harbaugh does,” Barner said this offseason. “Play-action pass, running the ball. To play tight end you have to be an all-around player.”

Barner’s coming off a season where he was a captain for Indiana and put up career numbers with 28 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Colston Loveland is locked in as Michigan’s No. 1 tight end, but Barner will be on the field a lot as a TE2 in an offense with a plethora of two tight end sets.

On Thursday afternoon, Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore shared his impressions of Barner thus far.

“He’s been outstanding,” Moore said. “First of all, he’s huge. He’s a giant human being. Phenomenal kid, phenomenal person, does everything right. When you’re on the edge and you’re blocking Jaylen Harrell and Kris Jenkins and all those other guys, whoever’s out there, it’s like, ‘you can hold up.’ It’s pretty impressive.”

Barner stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 251 pounds. His combination of size and agility will make him an asset not only as a blocker, but a receiving threat as well.

“In the pass game, he’s so big. He’s so fluid and so agile,” Moore explained. “He gives you another threat in the passing game that you can’t say, ‘Yeah, he’s in the game, you’re gonna run the ball.’ He’s been extremely valuable. He’s gonna allow very multiple things with him. Very excited about that.”

With Michigan losing Luke Schoonmaker to the NFL and Erick All to Iowa via the transfer portal Michigan’s without two of their top three options from the start of last season. However, Loveland appears to be the real deal and Barner transferring to Michigan could be a great thing for the team and him personally.