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Marlin Klein’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

A tough German gearing up for a solid sophomore campaign.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

From Europe to the state of Georgia to Ann Arbor — tight end Marlin Klein’s path to the University of Michigan has been a long and winding one.

The story so far

Klein’s football journey began as a teenager in Germany when he decided to play for his local football team, the Cologne Crocodiles. Klein was already a basketball and soccer player, but quickly thrived playing football and drew the attention of former Florida State defensive end Bjorn Werner. Werner sent out tape of Klein via his Gridiron Imports organization and Klein would soon head to the United States to play for Rabun Gap-Nachoochee in Georgia.

Klein would develop into a three-star prospect and committed to Michigan while fielding offers from Arizona State, Georgia, Florida State, Nebraska, and Michigan State.

Klein’s freshman campaign in 2022 featured appearances in two games, both of which came in non-conference play. Klein’s most notable contribution, however, was being named Scout Team Player of the Week helping Michigan’s defense get ready for Iowa.

Outlook moving forward

Klein was listed at 215 pounds before coming to Michigan — he’s now listed as 245 pounds. The 6-foot-7 tight end needs to continue adding mass and muscle to his frame, but he’s inching closer to becoming a mismatch on the field and can provide a balance of strength and speed.

“I think teams are really counting on him to be a blocking tight end that can separate and run routes,” Klein’s high school coach Sturdivant said. “Especially for coach Harbaugh, he’s a 12 personnel, 11 personnel guy, You gotta be able to block.”

Klein will have other tight ends ahead of him on the depth chart such as Colston Loveland, AJ Barner, Matthew Hibner, and Max Bredeson, but this could be a fluid situation. No one expected Loveland to rise up the depth chart so fast last season, and not only do so but thrive in the process. The same thing could happen to Klein as a sophomore and he could receive meaningful snaps this season.