Jim Harbaugh's NFL connections add to his recruiting appeal. [Bryan Fuller]
Ed-Ace: Recruitnik extraordinaire, regular podcast guest, and noted darts enthusiast Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247, aka The Artist Formerly Known As Aquaman, is back with his weekly recruiting mailbag. If you aren't subscribed to 247 and want to read more from Steve and the gang, they're running a free trial through New Year's Day.
Caesar asks: What makes Michigan under Harbaugh good at recruiting and what does it do to distinguish itself from other programs?
There are a few noteworthy things Harbaugh has that other programs don't:
1. He has strapped on the helmet and played at a high level for the program he is coaching at. He's come as close to the top of the mountain as anyone for Michigan has, and with that comes a natural love and desire to bring the program to the top. That's not to say that other coaches aren't super effective in how they recruit and how they pitch their programs, but there's a natural aspect to how Harbaugh specifically can recruit kids because of a love for Michigan that most (if not all) coaches can't replicate for the programs they're currently at.
2. There isn't another coach in college football who can utilize success and connections in the NFL like Harbaugh can. Early on in Cesar Ruiz's recruitment, he mentioned that going to Michigan would give him a network to the NFL that he wouldn't find at any other program when you consider who Harbaugh knows in the league. I want to say he was on campus sometime around the time Michigan held their Pro Day, and mentioned tons of NFL teams being there despite the fact that they only had a handful of pro prospects last season. On top of that, Michigan utilizes NFL schemes both offensively and defensively so often that it helps acclimate their players to the pros while they're still in college. This stuff is truly valuable on the recruiting trail.
3. He wins. Obviously Michigan is far from the only program winning, and they haven't done it consistently for a long time, but he's already proven he can do some big things, and that stuff resonates with kids.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the mailbag.]