Since the beginning of the offseason, Paw Paw (MI)2019 offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart has seen his recruitment take off, and that continued over the weekend when he was offered by Michigan State during his visit to East Lansing.
Barnhart, who received the offer personally from #15 Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, spoke with Spartan Nation and said that he was obviously excited to be offered by the Spartans’ head coach.
“It’s just unreal to have Coach D take all of that time with me and give me an offer and we talked more after,” he said.
“It’s unreal, and it’s pretty sweet too,” he said. “He’s got all eyes on him and you’re right behind him walking with him.”
So far in the recruiting process, Barnhart holds eight offers, including offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan, along with Michigan State.
Barnhart told Spartan Nation that while he didn’t grow up a fan of Michigan or Michigan State, he still enjoys seeing both of his in-state schools find success each year.
“I didn’t really grow up liking either team,” he said. “I watched both of them and I like to see them both do good, but I’m mostly an Alabama fan because my grandpa’s from Alabama.”
As far as what Barnhart's future holds at the next level, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound recruit said that Dantonio told him he could envision Barnhart playing a number of different positions on the offensive side of the ball.
“He said he just liked how I move on the field and my work ethic,” he said. “He said I could pretty much play anywhere from tight end to tackle or guard for them, so that’s pretty cool.”
During the course of his recruitment by Michigan State, Barnhart said that he’s heard from offensive line coach Mark Staten the most and feels like he’s already developed a strong relationship with him.
“I love coach Staten, I feel like we already have a good connection that he could be my coach,” he said. “I feel like he wants it bad enough. He’s from Dowagiac, a small town like Paw Paw, so he did a lot of the same things growing up that I do now.”
But the Spartans already have plenty of competition as he holds an offer from another Big Ten school, Indiana, and several other offers are sure to come his way in the not-so-distant future.
When it comes to Indiana, Barnhart said that the interest is mutual and said that while the Hoosiers had a down year in 2017, he expects them to bounce back this fall.
“They didn’t really have a good season this year, but I’m sure that they’ll have one next year,” he said. “Kind of like what happened to coach (Dantonio) last year with the Spartans where they had that 3-9 season, but bounced back this year. I don’t really know yet, but I like Indiana and I like all of the schools that are talking to me.”
But as far as Michigan State is concerned, Barnhart said that he plans on being a regular in East Lansing and also added that he plans to camp at Michigan State over the summer.
“I’ll be back as many times as I can,” he said. “It’s right up the road from me, an hour-30. So I’ll be up there as much as I can.”
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