UofM football news Colston Loveland on Michigan football tight ends

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A big part of the spring practice isn’t just about building and molding your team schematically, it’s about development, getting those younger players more experience.

As Jim Harbaugh used to often say, you get better at football by playing football.

With AJ Barner heading to the NFL, Michigan football has two experienced tight ends from last year’s team returning in star TE Colston Loveland and half-back Max Bredeson. But there are a lot of names we haven’t really heard about until now. Players like Marlin Klein, Deakon Tonielli, Zack Marshall, and then the two freshmen who are early enrollees in Brady Prieskorn and Hogan Hansen.

For any of the above, seeing playing time at the college level will be a new experience. And thus far, Loveland likes what he’s seeing from the group in spring practice.

“I think Brady and Hogan — those are the fresh two freshmen — they’ve been doing a good job,” Loveland said. “I know how it is coming in early spring. There’s a lot on your plate. So obviously they’re battling through a lot of things right now but they’re doing a great job adapting so far.

“Zack Marshall is doing a great job. Marlin Klein’s stepping up Josh Beetham, Max Bredeson. I mean, everyone in the room is doing what they’re doing. That’s a huge shout-out to Coach Casula as well, and Coach Newsome doing a great job preparing us.

“But yeah, just I think it’s gonna be exciting to see how the rest of the spring plays out with those younger guys in camp. And I think they’re gonna do really good things.”

As far as who will be playing opposite Loveland (as the Wolverines like playing in two-tight end sets), with Barner gone, the hype is starting to build for fellow junior Marlin Klein to take over that role. Given that we haven’t seen much from the tight end (who moonlights as a punter), what does he bring to the table?

A lot, as far as Loveland sees. He might actually be the most athletically gifted tight end on the team, it appears.

“Marlin’s the fastest tight and probably the strongest tight and biggest tight end, so he’s got it all there,” Loveland said. “And he’s done a great job this spring to just start taking that next step and actually like starting playing time, real, real playing time and he just embraced it, he’s done a (expletive deleted) good job in practice.

“Obviously, AJ Barner was one really good in-line blocking tight end and not saying Marlin can’t do that at all — he definitely can. But it’s just gonna be building that throughout the spring in camp, but he’s definitely got it on his plate for sure.”

Fans will get a chance to see the tight ends in action on April 20 in the annual spring game, to be held at The Big House. It will be nationally televised on Fox at noon EDT.


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