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Brian Lewerke gives glowing praise to Harlon Barnett

Former players seem to love Barnett.



Brian Lewerke praises Harlon Barnett
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal, Lansing State Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke had some glowing praise for interim head coach Harlon Barnett.

Harlon Barnett has been receiving praise left and right for his first press conference as interim head coach, including some from his former players. He seems to be a players’ coach which may be just what the program needs right now.

Brian Lewerke spoke highly of Barnett on Wednesday, giving him some glowing praise.

While Barnett was never Lewerke’s position coach, the two undoubtedly spent plenty of time together. He was a Michigan State assistant coach until 2017 when he left for Florida State. Lewerke was redshirted in 2015 and became the starter full-time in 2017 during Barnett’s last year. He saw what kind of defensive mind he was, leading one of the best units in the Big Ten. But any time you see a player speak highly of a coach who wasn’t in charge of their position, let alone on their side of the ball, you know he had an impact.

Lewerke finished his Michigan State career in 2019 after starting for three seasons but injuries held him back from what he was truly capable of. The year after he left, Barnett returned to East Lansing under Mel Tucker as the secondary coach.

Barnett has a history of success at Michigan State. He was a three-year starter for the Spartans in the 1980s, he was named a first-team All-American by the Sporting News, and he coached the often-celebrated ‘No Fly Zone’ in 2013. Many believe that he can bring that type of success as a head coach.

He’ll have Mark Dantonio helping him and showing him the ropes.

One thing is for sure: former players love this move by MSU.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.