Texas HS Coach Preparing For Jim Harbaugh Recruiting Visit By Getting His Khakis Cleaned
Would you do Blue? Why or why not?
As a Michigan fan, I had a hard time being objective about this question. But I think that if I was a recruit doing my homework, I'd have to go with Michigan. Some reasons, in no particular order, include:
1. Low-injury success: As most already know, Harbaugh took a 1-11 Stanford and made them 11-1 in just a few years. But I believe he also did so while reducing injuries by some 87%. As an NFL hopeful, this would be a big selling point.
2. Top staff: More than half of these guys have coached in a Superbowl. What? Yes. The average NFL experience on this staff exceeds 8 years. They are more NFL than some NFL staffs. These guys know what it takes at the very top. And they are as well connected as any college staff could ever hope to be.
3. Player development: Even if I felt myself to be an NFL shoe-in, I'd want to be in a high-visibility program that maximized my development and draft stock. Harbaugh has consistently done so, sending many unheralded recruits to the league and getting the most out of his available talent. He helped a three-star running back become a Heisman runner-up the year before making a four-star quarterback a household name. On a related note, Harbaugh's linemen consistently BEAST, which is crucial for skill players to be able to best showcase themselves.
4. Winning: As everyone knows, Harbaugh is a winner. But the extent of his winning is unprecedented in the modern era. In the NFL, he's in the top-5 list of winningest coaches ever (at least 50 games). Some of the names in front of him are Lombardi and Madden. He's the only modern coach in the top 10 (Shula, at #10, stopped in the mid-90s; all the others retired by the end of the 70s). Belichick, for a modern comparison, comes in at #14. And this is the NFL, where NC-winners like Saban and Spurrier couldn't even hack it.
5. Michigan: Of course. Most wins; great academics; and a tremendous, successful, and passionate alumni base.
Those are my quick thoughts. What are yours? Would you do Blue?
Obviously it is still early but with a lot of these 33 players already 1/3rd of the way thru their careers before declaring early for the draft, 247 has a nice summary of early returns. I do think they got Peppers a bit wrong in that I don't think he will receive a medical RS, but it is probably moot if he is as good as advertised.
I'll put the Michigan targets - even if loosely (i.e. Fournette, Jackson) - that I can remember at the top - I am sure I will miss a few. Then some others below - there is some amazing production out there. And a few redshirts even.
In UM's sphere:
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU. Made the most of his 187 carries, gaining 1,034 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns. Took a kickoff back for a touchdown in the Music City Bowl.
3. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan. Started one game at cornerback but took a medical redshirt because of a leg injury.
5. Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama. A defensive reserve who had two sacks. Will play a bigger role in 2015.
7. Adoree’ Jackson, Southern Cal. Took two kickoffs back for touchdowns, caught three touchdowns. That was before he moved mostly permanently to cornerback, where he started 10 games.
20. John Smith, Southern Cal. “JuJu” was a monster for the Trojans, catching 54 passes for 724 yards and five TDs. Will be option No. 1 for Cody Kessler in 2015. (I think Michigan was recruiting him as a DB)
32. Malik McDowell, Michigan State. Co-starter at nose tackle and played in all 13 games for the Spartans. Had a sack against Penn State.
Others of interest
4. Cameron Robinson, Alabama. Stud left tackle was named the 247Sports Freshman of the Year and looks like a future top-five NFL draft pick.
6. Quin Blanding, Virginia. Started all 12 games for the Cavaliers at safety. Named to every all-rookie team you can think of. Second in the ACC with 123 tackles.
8. Speedy Noil, Texas A&M. Electric wideout led the Aggies in all-purpose yardage and scored five touchdowns.
13. Dalvin Cook, Florida State. Perhaps the offensive MVP for the Seminoles, Cook rushed for 1,008 yards and scored eight times.
21. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma. Accepted a plea deal for a July misdemeanor charge for acts resulting in gross injury, which left a 20-year-old female with four broken bones, per the Oklahoman. The running back has the chance to work his way back to the team this spring.
22. Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State. The top-rated signee for the national champion Buckeyes, McMillan made 54 total tackles and 2.5 sacks at linebacker.
30. KD Cannon, Baylor. The next big thing at wideout for the Bears, Cannon had a ridiculous 1,030 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.
33. Nick Chubb, Georgia. The last of the five stars, but certainly not the least impactful, Chubb took over for Todd Gurley and had rousing success, picking up 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns on 219 carries, a sensational 7.1 average.
Another late night recruiting thread!
Harbaugh talked to KJ Costello, one of the 2016 class' most highly touted quarterbacks. Costello was interested in UM when Hoke was coaching and according to 247 visited campus last summer. Steve Lorenz expects him to visit again soon, and he's likely to bring along his 4* WR, Dylan Crawford.
Costello's 2014 film:
He has offers from everyone, and it looks like Harbaugh will be recruiting two QBs per class like he did at Stanford (Messiah deWeaver is our currently committed 2016 QB for those who forgot).
Still trust Gregg Henson? Here is what he has to say about Jim Harbaugh going after Sparty's HUGE commits:
At this point, Harbaugh has his eyes on a couple of HUGE MSU commits in 2015 and 2016. Looks like he may make a move on a couple of MSU guys soon. Right now Michigan is on the hunt and Sparty is the hunted, this will get good, soon!Scott (RB), Stallworth (OL) and Williams (DE) are the ones that I think worth poaching.
Over the past week during a vacation I re-read "Bo's Lasting Lessons" I hadn't read it in probably 5+ years. If you haven't read it I think I wouldn't be alone in reccomending it. If you have read it, but like me its been years I hope this will encourage you to pick it back up.
I was struck by how certain names that are very relevant today were picked out of a distinguished crowd by Bo almost a decade ago. Below are a couple short clips that stood out:
"Today Brad bates is the athletic director at Miami of Ohio- and they love him, there, too. They love him! He's done a marvelous job, and I'm sure you'l be hearing his name wherever a big job opens up. I would not be surprised if he becomes Michiagan's athletic director down the road. If he doesn't, it'll be our loss."
"Years later, Jimmy told me he leared a lot from that meeting, that you can have a tremendous impact as a leader just by taking a little time. Your people have to know that their value to you and your organization is not determined just by what they do, but by who they are. I cant make it any clearer than that."
"Jim ended up being twice as good, in my book, as the Golden Arm- Harbaugh was the Big Ten MVP his senior year, beating the other guy by a mile- and Jim's teammates liked him. Maybe Harbaugh didn't have half the arm of the Golden Boy, but he had twice the brains and ten times the heart. Give me those specs, anyday."
(Jerry's words in response to a question from Jim Harbaugh "what kind of team will we have next year') "Jim, come back in twenty years, and I'll tell you. Only then will we know how you and your classmates turned out. Did you get good jobs? Are you hardworking and honest? Were you good husbands and fathers? Did you contribute to your community? Did you make the world a better place?"
I couldn't believe how well this book held up in the quick changing sports landscape. It shows how much character Bo saw in these individuals and how much they learned and valued their time at Michigan. (I know cool story bro).