Michael Barrett doesn’t lack for confidence. That isn’t just a product of his success. It’s also a product of the environment in which Barrett, a Michigan signee, has played football in Valdosta, Ga.
“He has made so many plays for us,” said Randy McPherson, the coach at Lowndes High School in Valdosta. “The reason he’s made those plays is that he just plays the game. He loves the game. He’s not worried. He’s not nervous. We’ve played in front of a lot of big crowds there and when he gets into a game at Michigan, that 109,000 won’t feel different than 13,000 at Lowndes.”
Barrett, a member of the Wolverines’ 2018 recruiting class, is a 3-star athlete who threw for 1,705 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2017 as quarterback at Lowndes, but he expects to play running back and wide receiver in Ann Arbor.
Barrett reports to campus Saturday for summer classes and conditioning. He discussed with Land of 10 his recruitment to Michigan, what he will bring to the Wolverines’ lineup as a versatile player on offense and a pressing question he asked Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Q. Why did you decide to go to Michigan?
Barrett: Just because of all the positives they have. All of the good things about it, the coaching staff, and they definitely know how to recruit. The program in general is one of the best in the country. It wasn’t that hard of a decision, but they’re definitely a great school to be at, and Ann Arbor is a great city to be in. The whole program is great.
Q. What will you bring to Michigan?
Barrett: I’ll bring leadership and the same thing I’ve been doing in four years of high school football; I’ll have the “it factor.” People know that when I’m on the field I make a difference, and I want to impact the team any way I can at Michigan and produce.
Q. What stood out the most to you about your visit to Michigan?
Barrett: I visited on June 8, 2017, and I remember just how big everything was. How big the stadium was, and the weight room being built. They had very nice facilities, and their coaching staff was really nice.
Q. What was one funny moment you had in the recruiting process, whether it was with Michigan or with another school?
Barrett: The funniest moment was when I asked [Jim] Harbaugh how many khakis he had. I think he said he had about nine pair, but I don’t believe that because I think he has more! I saw a picture where it looked like there were about 15 pairs of khakis.
Q. What surprised you the most about the recruiting process?
Barrett: Probably just how fast it all happens. It was surprising how quick it all came up. One moment, I’m sitting there with no offers, and then the next moment I have Jim Harbaugh coming through and shaking my hand. I got my first offer after the 10th grade. Looking back on it, it was kind of long and tough, to break everything down and to make a decision.
Q. What was your biggest regret in the recruiting process?
Barrett: My biggest regret might haunt me the most. I didn’t take all of my official visits. I only took two. One was to Michigan and the other to Georgia Tech. I only regret it, just because I could have been able to see different cities and gotten around, and to see how different teams and things work.
Q. What recruiting advice would you give to a high school junior?
Barrett: Don’t go for what everyone thinks you should go for. Don’t go for the big names at the time. Go for the best place for you and where you think you will thrive the most. I kept hearing that throughout the process, and I learned it toward the end. It’ll stick with me. I’ll be the next one to pass that along to someone in the process.
Q. Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
Barrett: If I’d have gotten an offer close to home, I might have taken it more seriously. I’m not saying I would have picked it over Michigan, because that was the best place for me. But I may have considered a school closer to home because it meant I would have stayed closer to my family.
Q. Which coach was it the hardest to say no to in the recruiting process?
Barrett: Probably Georgia Tech. They were all on me, texting me every day, coming to the school every week and telling me how much they wanted me. It was kind of hard. After I committed I told them, and it was hard to send that message, but I had to do it.
Q. What are looking forward to the most about going to Michigan?
Barrett: Just running out of the tunnel at the Big House for the first time. That’s going to be exciting. I can’t wait.