Michigan still in it for 5 star DE Zach Harrison

Submitted by StephenRKass on July 1st, 2018 at 11:45 PM

So I have seen some interesting things at a couple Ohio State sites. They are a bit nervous about Zach Harrison. It has long been assumed that he is a slam dunk for the Buckeyes, only living 25 minutes from campus. Not so fast . . . apparently, he is truly and honestly interested in Michigan.

LINK:  https://lettermenrow.com/ohio-state-football-recruiting/opening-finals-ohio-state-michigan-zach-harrison-recruiting-decision-2019/

Here are some pertinent quotes from the article

Michigan’s coaching staff made a number of changes in the offseason, and the decision to bring in linebackers coach Al Washington from Cincinnati is paying dividends with Harrison. That bond, along with a handful of players at Michigan he’s become close with, have thrown a wrinkle into what was at one time considered a slam-dunk recruitment for Ohio State.

“Just hanging out with the guys, I get along with those guys really well,” Harrison said. “I love Coach Washington. he’s a good dude, a big family man. It started a couple years ago when he was at Cincinnati, or last year, he came to my school and was recruiting one of my teammates. I started to talking to him and then he went to Michigan and started recruiting my area.

“The education is great there, the players, I love them. They’re building something special up there, and I like the strength staff there. I like Coach Harbaugh, I think he’s a good dude.”

If Michigan were to land Harrison, that would help in the recruiting rankings, but that doesn't matter all that much. (I am fine with Michigan getting the guys they want to get, and not the guys everyone thinks they should get.) More than that, it would give us the number 4 player in the country, at a position (defensive end) where you can't be too good. Better yet, it would be a true head to head win over OSU. Best of all, it would be a head to head win against OSU for a guy from the state of Ohio. This is a Woodsonesque kind of win.



July 2nd, 2018 at 12:10 AM ^

Wont be getting my hopes up yet, but it seemed from the connections Sam has that he has been better than just a "long shot" or a little while now. I dont remember, but is there anything about him coming back up for the BBQ? I believe it has been stated that he wants to end his recruitment before his senior season starts.


July 2nd, 2018 at 2:43 AM ^

Article says, "There will be no more visits and limited conversation with coaches at the schools he’s considering. He’s just going to have to try and put all the pieces together."

I think the BBQ counts as a visit, and this kid is going to suss out where he's headed. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 12:24 AM ^

Yeah and Michigan got Wormley, Charlton, Henry, Hurst, and Gary who were all better than Hand. Not saying Harrison won't be a stud, but Michigan will be OK with or without him. I believe all of those guys I named were or will be drafted higher than Hand was. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 12:29 AM ^

Hurst wasn't for the medical stuff but the rest of those guys were.

Harrison is going to be really good. Great work by the staff of getting in the top two (by most accounts it's just the two), including bringing in a bunch of really good dudes who Zach is vibing with because he's also a really good dude. If they can close give Al a raise. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 9:06 AM ^

His only point was that Hand was drafted higher than Hurst, but only because of the heart issue that spooked the entire NFL.  Had that not occurred, Hurst was a top 20 draft pick, if not top 10.  He was not saying Hand was better than Hurst - that would be one of the more dumb things anyone could say...


July 2nd, 2018 at 12:20 AM ^

The guy is from Columbus. I do not doubt that his interest is genuine but at the end of the day Ohio State is a tough place to turn down. Certainly hoping for it, but not gonna be disappointed if he chooses them. 


Damn it would be sweet to get him though. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 12:33 AM ^

Only difference is that Harrison did not live in Columbus his whole life and doesn't have the personal ties to OSU. From what I have heard, he wasn't an OSU fanboy. Doesn't mean he isn't likely to go to OSU, just saying that it isn't the same situation as most kids from Columbus if he does decide to go a different route.


July 2nd, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

"this comment from WeimyWoodson on the MGoBoards comes from a guy who claimed to have coached him as a kid since 8th grade. He said Harrison was a big Ohio State fan and dished some good-natured ribbing over folks wearing Michigan gear."

There was somebody on MGoBlog earlier this year who asserted that he knew Mazi Smith's wrestling coach who allegedly told him that Smith was headed to PSU or OSU and didn't even have Michigan in his top 3.



July 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM ^

Just telling you what I know/happened.  He very well could end up picking really any school, but him along with some of his friends would joking tease me about my Michigan stuff.  I then would tell him to run more laps haha.  

Since he's been recruited by all sorts of schools the few times I see him I don't ask him anything about it.  It's not my place to ask/push my personal opinion on him.  He's going to make the decision I believe is best for him.  

It's great that Michigan has really gotten back into this because of Al Washington and whatnot, but I just believe the ties to OSU are too strong.

mad magician

July 2nd, 2018 at 1:02 AM ^

Those are promising remarks and often we see that being too (geographically) close to a recruit can work against a school, as the lure to leave the familiar for the new can be strong for some. He would be a huge get. Regardless it seems Washington has been a valuable addition and a nice hire by JH. 

SMart WolveFan

July 2nd, 2018 at 1:21 AM ^

Still think he commits to the Buckeyes in August, even if he really likes UofM, it will be a much easier football season for him as the OSU recruiting crown jewel, "see we still love Ohio players" poster child.

That being said, come November, it may be a case of which program he finds most comfortable and we'll have a shit load of Ohioans on the UofM sideline in Columbus so if UofM has a seminal win.......

.. as Fenster said "..flip ya for real"!


July 2nd, 2018 at 3:08 AM ^

This is a great find, especially because Harrison has been very quiet in general.

Assuming the quotations from the article are representative, it seems like relationships and distance are the most important issues to Harrison. Al Washington and Harrison's hosts on the team seemed to have really connected with him. Also, it sounds like Ohio State could be too close to home, which would kinda be the Lance Dixon Effect finally working in our favor. 

I'm most encouraged by this kid's process. He says he's shutting down his visits because he has all the info he needs to make a decision and wants to think on it. How often do you see a kid say something like that? If this is a troll-job, it's definitely one of the best ever. He doesn't come off as attention-seeking or vainglorious--just a young guy who is working through a decision.

In any case, I think Michigan is in the catbird seat on this one. If he ends up a Buckeye, not many recruits will view this as a loss--everyone will say it was expected, Michigan never really had a chance, etc. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 5:54 AM ^

I think too the longer this lasts the better for Michigan. 

We need to live up to the hype this season....

If we find a way to get to the cfp....our trajectory changes big time with recruiting. 

Indy Pete - Go Blue

July 2nd, 2018 at 7:28 AM ^

 While the most recruiting class was an anomaly,  This coming year’s crop seems right in line with the previous two where we were top 10. Harbaugh is well aware of the recruiting rankings which have a huge emphasis on quantity as well as quality.  We have rocketed up the rankings with a number of high three star and some four-star recruits. All of the kids who have been thinking about Michigan have been encouraged to commit ASAP to help us rocket up the rankings. Of course, rankings are just rankings, and the quantity factor will even out with elite recruiting programs down the line here. However, we are effectively changing perception by having a class that is currently ranked in the top five.   This is an intentional move by a coach who knows how to create positive buzz for his program. 

 Elite players like Harrison want to play with an elite recruiting class. Right now, he sees Michigan in the top five class, ranked higher than Ohio State. While it is unlikely that we end up with a higher recruiting ranking then will have osu (given the history of recruiting rankings) the ultimate rankings for 2019 do not matter to kids being recruited right now. The perception right now is that Michigan is recruiting at elite level, and that is fantastic. 


July 2nd, 2018 at 8:25 AM ^

Sounds like a good guess. I'd imagine everyone, from Urban to Larry Johnson to family to guys at his school to the general public are in his ear about OSU. But then he has the reality of what he's seen and experienced first hand at Michigan. Winovich, Paye, and Vilain at WDE, along with Gary and Kemp at SDE, are good guys. Gary and Winovich will be drafted. Looking at Mattison and Brown, you have a solid coaching staff with a proven track record of developing players. They compare better to OSU than anyone else. Plus you have more defensive ends and tackles from Michigan in the NFL than any other positions (Taco Charlton, Frank Clark, Brandon Graham, Chris Wormley, Matt Godin, along with Mo Hurst, Willie Henry, and Ryan Glasgow.)

There are a lot of good reasons to consider both schools. Obviously, I'm a fan, and see things one way. But I really think he can't go far wrong either way.


July 2nd, 2018 at 9:28 AM ^

Webb has spoken several times about the fact that Harrison doesn't like the recruiting process and hates talking about it to media people.

I don't know if this means he's likely to do the opposite of what people want him to do, but he sounds like a different kind of high school kid.

Pulling kids away from programs in their hometown is not an easy thing if the hometown program has made a strong push for them, which is why I don't think we'll get either Harrison or Karlaftis.


July 2nd, 2018 at 12:20 PM ^

This kid fits the Harbaugh prototype-he's a thoughtful free-thinker! If you go listen to his interview on 247 he would 100% flip to Michigan...if he would be free of all kinds of "Columbus" fall-out. I thought all along that him going to OSU was a forgone conclusion. But OMG!!! This kid is really torn...this is really going to be interesting. 

True Blue Grit

July 2nd, 2018 at 10:57 AM ^

No, I doubt very much that will happen.  Najee Harris was one of the most ridiculous recruitments we've seen in terms of how drawn out and soap-opera like it was.  I'd put it top 5 along with ones like Malik McDowell.  I'd guess here that in the end Harrison will just pick either OSU or Michigan and that will be that.  


July 2nd, 2018 at 1:18 PM ^

I see this as Ohio’s version of the DPJ recruitment. They were our biggest threat for him and pushed till the end giving all of us some anxiety but in the end we were relieved he chose the home squad. And in hindsight there wasn’t any doubt. 

The Fan in Fargo

July 2nd, 2018 at 7:23 PM ^

The fact that Urbz and staff felt the need to get him back to Cbus a day or two after his Michigan visit is telling. There is worry there. It's justified too. The freight train is coming baby! Get off the fucking tracks.