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Aurora graduate AJ Barner drafted by Seattle Seahawks

Aurora graduate AJ Barner drafted by Seattle Seahawks


AJ Barner, shown kneeling during his senior season at Aurora, shares a brief conversation with a waterboy during the 2019 season.
Steve Golton/Special to Portage Sports

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

Aurora High School graduate AJ Barner, who won a national championship at the University of Michigan this past season, was drafted in the fourth round (121st overall pick) of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the Seattle Seahawks.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end began his college career at Indiana University before transferring to the Wolverines.

He earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten last year, catching 22 passes for 249 yards and scored one touchdown.

Barner was also a key contributor on special teams and a key blocker in Michigan’s run game.

“It means everything,” Barner said of being drafted by the Seahawks in a story that was published on seahawks.com. “I’m here to win championships. I love football and I just want to help the team out however I can. It’s an honor to go to a city like Seattle.”

As far as how he expects to fit in with the Seahawks and the NFL, Barner said he will be prepared to do whatever he asked to do.

“I’m a football player,” he said. “If you ask me to go out there and catch 10 passes a game, I’ll go do that. If you ask me to man up the C-gap and be physical, I’ll go do that. If you ask me to play on every special team, I’ll go do that. I love chopping up the helmet, I love playing physical football. This has been my dream since I’ve been a kid. This is what I love to do.”

Barner graduated from Aurora in 2020. His senior football season, the 2019 season, he finished with 77 tackles and nine tackles for a loss, in addition to being a contributor on offense.

In four years of college, Barner totaled 64 catches for 610 yards and scored five touchdowns.

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