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Michael Barrett announces return to Michigan for 2023 season

Sunday evening, Michigan linebacker Mike Barrett announced that he will be staying in Ann Arbor in 2023.



Michigan football recruiting, Jacob Smith
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett (23) gestures during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second half of the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday afternoon, the Michigan football program received more good news — this time in the form of starting linebacker Michael Barrett announcing his decision to return for his sixth and final season with the Wolverines.

Michael Barrett in 2022

In 2023, Barrett had his best campaign yet, as the Valdosta, GA native appeared in 14 games and compiled 72 total tackles, five tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks for the 13-1 Big Ten Champion Wolverines. After incumbent starter Nikhai Hill-Green went down with a lingering soft-tissue injury in fall camp, Barrett slid into Hill-Green’s place and showed little, if any, drop off.

Barrett tied a career high in tackles in the season’s biggest game, collecting 11 combined tackles in Columbus, OH in Michigan’s massive 45-23 victory over its biggest rival, Ohio State. He followed his play against the Buckeyes up with a 10-tackle performance in the Big Ten Championship game, including a tackle for loss in Michigan’s 43-22 victory over Purdue.

What does Barrett’s return mean for Michigan football?

With Barrett and Junior Colson returning as incumbent starters, rising sophomore Jimmy Rolder showing promise in limited action, and coveted Nebraska transfer Ernest Hausmann joining the fold, Michigan has turned its linebacking corps into one of the strengths of the team, a thought that seemed unfathomable just a mere few months ago.

With Barrett back in the fold, Michigan’s defense is just waiting on a decision from junior defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who has yet to announce his plans ahead of the January 16 draft declaration deadline. Still, getting Michael Barrett back to go with the rest of the talent returning to Ann Arbor should have opposing Big Ten offensive coordinators restless.

Earlier today, starting guard Zak Zinter announced that he, too, will be returning to Michigan in 2023. This means that the Wolverines will be retaining many of its star players from the 2022 season, including Blake Corum, Trevor Keegan, and more.