Following five years of college football littered with twists, turns and transformations, Michigan Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett has finally arrived to his final college offseason.
He announced prior to the deadline for the NFL Draft he’d be back in Ann Arbor for his sixth and final year. The former high school quarterback-turned Viper-turned-traditional-linebacker has made a name for himself the last two seasons under Mike Macdonald and Jesse Minter.
Now, after a successful 2022 campaign — 72 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions returned for touchdowns — Barrett will look to improve upon his skillset to improve his draft stock. He recently spoke with Jon Jansen on “In The Trenches” to delve deeper into his decision to stay, as well as some of his goals for the 2023 season.
“I just was deciding what my value would be in the draft, and talking to a lot of alumni from Michigan that has kind of been in my shoes and kind of gone through this process,” he said. “The common advice that I was given was if they had been given the opportunity to come back, they would have taken it, which was kind of a lot in my ear. It was always kind of a win-win in my mind to come back.”
Barrett also will be working on off the field things, saying, “I just want to become the best version of myself and the best leader on the team. I want to just keep elevating. I feel like I've changed over the course of last season in so many ways and I just want to continue the growth of myself, personally, and just being a leader on this team and just go win football games.”
Before deciding to come back to school, Barrett had a conversation with head coach Jim Harbaugh. The head man helped him get in contact with NFL scouts to see where he may end up getting drafted.
“(Harbaugh) just kind of told me that Michigan is a great place to be and a great place to grow yourself, just as a man, as a Michigan man in general. And he just kind of told me that he would have my back 100% and that he would always be there for me,” Barrett said.
The Wolverines start their spring practices on Monday, so Barrett and company are set to hit the ground running heading into the 2023 season.