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Marlin Klein’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2022

The German project possesses the ideal frame to succeed at the next level.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Incoming freshman tight end Marlin Klein has been resolute in his commitment to the Michigan Wolverines longer than some fans. Klein committed to the Wolverines on Sept. 22, 2020, just one month before Michigan began one of the worst seasons in program history.

Holding fast throughout the tumultuous 2020 season and relishing in his decision during the glorious 2021 season, Klein became Jim Harbaugh’s longest tenured commitment in the 2022 class and expectations — perhaps unreasonably even — have been high for a while.

Klein is a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder who is a firstly, secondly and thirdly a receiving threat. The native German is deceptively agile with soft hands, and better than average breakaway speed for his height.

However, Klein is LEAN. For reference, Michigan wide receiver Cornelius Johnson weighs slightly more than Klein and CJ is a wide receiver and three inches shorter.

Outlook moving forward

Klein is 40 pounds away from being a mismatch nightmare and a valuable asset in the passing game. Think of a smoother, faster Zach Gentry with more reliable hands and better at making contested catches in traffic.

If Klein can put on the size, adapt to the physicality of the college game and learn to hold his own in the trenches, there isn’t a limit on his potential. Comparing anyone to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is unreasonable, but saying Klein could develop into an NFL player is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Klein may see the field this year in a special teams role, but will be the fifth tight end at best for a loaded position group. However, this time will allow Klein to develop and put on the necessary weight to play in the Big Ten.

With Grant Newsome as the new tight ends coach, Klein could not have found himself in a better position room with a better positional coach to help him learn the art of blocking.