Steve Wiltfong CB is now 'foggy' on 5-Star 2019 DE Zach Harrison

Submitted by Caesar on October 15th, 2018 at 4:19 AM


Harrison is a top recruit on the 247 composite who lives just beyond the shadow of Ohio State University. He visited Michigan during their big win over Wisconsin, joining several other high school standouts. National recruiting expert Wiltfong changed his Crystal Ball from the Buckeyes to 'foggy.'

Below I've put in an image of the tweet, since I can't figure out how to embed those things. I've tried to link the image below, but in case that doesn't work, here's a link to the original tweet itself. Related articles are here($) and here($). 


Wiltfong on Harrison.png

Some Thoughts

I don't have access to the linked articles, so I'm not really sure how strong Wiltfong's source/reasoning is. But in general, Wiltfong's CB is an important one; he doesn't make that change lightly.

In the afterglow of a big win with most recruits, I would shrug my shoulders. A visit's power to trigger a outpouring of positive reactions with a half life of a few days is pretty well documented. But Harrison is not your typical recruit. His deliberate, private process gives greater heft to his post-game reactions.

It probably doesn't hurt that Franklin's ineptitude was on full display this weekend. It's becoming much easier to objectively connect dots that say PSU backed into its recent success and is now frittering away the talent of recruits with Franklin's horrific decision-making. Ohio State's hiccup against Minny can't help, though I doubt it had much influence, either. 



October 15th, 2018 at 10:57 AM ^

Unfortunately, I think it's very easy for people to turn a blind eye to personal failings in light of professional success. For many of these kids, it's a business decision to get paid on Sundays and Meyer has a track record there. Harbaugh does make us relevant again, as he can boast not only making kids NFL ready, but also to knowing what NFL coaches want and having connections in the league.

I've heard lots of talk about how Harbaugh's old school personality rubs a lot of this generation the wrong way. IMO, we don't need whiners who can't deal with hard work and constructive criticism, so I hope we keep getting men of character.


October 15th, 2018 at 11:15 AM ^

Interesting.  Is the talk you're hearing coming from the kids or message board stuff?  (I read Mgo and TTB exclusively, so I wouldn't know what's going on in the premiums)  Jim is eccentric, but I didn't think he was any more critical than other coaches.  In fact, I thought he is the opposite, where he doesn't rip people as a motivator, just tells them, "You're behind this guy and this guy.  Get to work if you want to play."  Am I wrong?

The Baughz

October 15th, 2018 at 11:25 AM ^

I’ll just add a thing here about Harbaugh’s personality. I coached a kid a couple of years ago who had offers from pretty much every big time college. He took a visit to Michigan and was totally off put by Harbaugh.

He is not for everyone. He did say Meyer came off as phony; but definitely took Michigan off his list after his trip. Just figured I’d throw that out there. He ended up going to a Pac-12 school.


October 15th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^

Harrison's recruitment has been presented here, in crootin summaries, as if he prefers Michigan but his father or parents are huge bucknuts.

So he's torn. Will he follow his own heart, or accede to the wishes of family & community?

That makes this CB change a very interesting development. In fact, for the first time, I'm letting myself entertain hopes he goes Blue!


October 15th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

Probably best to bucket said events in to, “enabling criminal behavior”, “lying for personal and professional purposes”, and “general moral failings of a human being”

Of course not all Meyer scumbag activity can be neatly classified in to one category, or assessed as mutually exclusive from other classifications of immorality.

Probably need a Venn diagram 


October 15th, 2018 at 5:34 AM ^

How solid was this CB in the first place? My natural reaction is still “wait and see” since any comments or change of heart after an emotional, exciting game should be taken with a grain of salt. 


Would be great to see Harrison in a winged helmet, though!


October 15th, 2018 at 5:48 AM ^

I think it was a very safe 'default' option. OSU has incredible success getting production from the DL, perhaps rivaled in the B1G only by Michigan, and the kid is literally less than a 15 minute drive from campus. He should've been the lockest of locks, but it seems like he is really considering other programs.


October 15th, 2018 at 8:46 AM ^

Zach has always expressed that he is "confused" in regards to OSU or Michigan.  I think a CB from Wiltfong to Michigan for Zach that is "foggy" is just as positive for us as if Wiltfong CB'd him to Michigan.  Wiltfong could be saving Zach a whole bunch of crap from people by just making him "foggy" instead of saying he projects Michigan is now the favorite.


October 15th, 2018 at 5:47 AM ^

I think Harrison's commitment comes down to The Game, OSU vs Michigan. If Michigan wins Harrison is ours. If Michigan loses in a close game its a toss up. If OSU blows us out Harrison stays home

Wiltfongs crystal balls are suspect. Look at his prediction page. He changes his predictions in the final hours ALL THE TIME. A crystal ball month(s) before Harrisons commitment is relatively useless as Wiltfong will just change them last minute whenever he gets confirmation of where the recruit is going

I trust guys crystal balls close to our program like Lorenz, Ace, Webb, etc


October 15th, 2018 at 7:05 AM ^

Actually sounds like a family battle. Mom wants OSU and Zach more open to psu and um. Perhaps the off field issues have hurt osu and Michigan’s resurgence helps the backlash of justifying not going to OSU while living in Columbus. 

Quite a few dynamics at play. Winning certainly doesn’t hurt our chances 

Mr Miggle

October 15th, 2018 at 8:00 AM ^

I don't like this take at all. We all know his mom favored OSU. She's also been quoted as saying she's okay with him going elsewhere. Calling it a family battle is over the top. We haven't heard about even a bit of drama involved. Families want their kids to stay close to home all the time. The kids are often conflicted about that. It's a factor with most players we recruit.

A family battle was what happened with Malik McDowell. This is a player who lives in the shadow of the Buckeyes deciding whether he wants to play with the home school or not.


October 15th, 2018 at 9:32 AM ^

Having a daughter in Ann Arbor and a son in Tempe, I can tell you that proximity is a much bigger deal than I thought it would be just a few months ago. For the parent of an athlete, I imagine that seeing the games and watching your son/daughter play is a very big deal.

Getting from Columbus to Ann Arbor might not seem like a big deal to many of us, but that also implies the possibility of hotel stays, gas money, etc., almost every weekend; i.e. spending money that some families just don't have. Parents have other reasons as well, I imagine, for wanting to keep their kids close by.

For all of those, while I would be disappointed if his parents (particularly his mom) laid on a massive guilt trip to keep him in Columbus, I can't be too upset with her. God knows my wife did all she could to keep our son in Michigan, and we don't need to watch him play a sport.


October 15th, 2018 at 8:20 AM ^

This is why I love this blog. I don't know of another place where a post on a five-star recruit can take an abrupt shift to a famous poem by Carl Sandburg, UM's poet-in-residence in the 20's.

This also lets me to share my favorite Sandburg story (which I'm sure has been posted here before, since everything else has been.) Per the Literary Traveler:

"Frost himself was inclined to down-play this notoriety. When the President of the University, Marion Burton, suggested to Frost that he was as popular as the celebrated football coach, Fielding Yost, Frost responded by proposing that they test the soundness of this idea by scheduling a poetry reading that would coincide with an upcoming football game. He then cautioned President Burton 'If you come to my poetry reading, you will be the only one there, because I shall be at the football game.'"

Edit: This would have been a hell of a lot more effective if I hadn't used a quote about Robert Frost and mistaken it for one on Sandburg. I can only blame my egregious error on a lack of caffeine.

I would throw myself upon the mercy of this blog, but who am I kiddin'? - this blog has no mercy (and is damn proud of it). Therefore, I fully expect to be pelted with rocks and garbage.


October 15th, 2018 at 10:21 AM ^

No offense, but your favorite Sandburg story has very little Sandburg in it. Other than that, it's awesome, and I plan to steal and use it widely.

Random side note, but Robert Frost's grandson, Robert Frost, II, was a professor at the School of Information until his death in 2011. He went by Bob and from my impression (having read about but never met the man), sought to downplay his famous grandfather (sounded like he just wanted to make his own reputation, which I totally understand). He donated family archive materials (books, letters, photos, etc) to the university.


October 15th, 2018 at 7:52 AM ^

Wiltfong makes his predictions based on momentum. Whenever the momentum swings in the way of one school (or in this case away from one and towards the other), he makes a prediction. 

Mr Miggle

October 15th, 2018 at 8:12 AM ^

What is this momentum based on, just that he took a visit? And that momentum leads to "foggy"?

Wiltfong had the first CB for OSU and now has the only one that isn't for them. I don't doubt that he changes his picks near the end when it's clear what's happening. This sure doesn't look like an example of that.

4th and Go For It

October 15th, 2018 at 8:36 AM ^

He visited PSU for their game vs OSU, I believe and now here on Saturday. The thinking has been that since he was assumed an OSU shoe-in that his continued delay in committing is good for us and PSU to be a real possibility. Sounds like maybe Wiltfong heard enough scuttlebutt around those visits to agree he’s no longer leaning OSU and is legitimately conflicted. Sam Webb made it sound like he may want to get out of Columbus and family may want him to stay local. Sam should have an update on WTKA radio/podcast this week


October 15th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

It can change with each visit, that's what makes his CB so annoying to follow. I can't remember the recruit in which he changed the CB after each visit. His CB is not indicative on where the player will be going, just who is leading. 

I think after last weekend Wiltfong wasn't as confident in OSU landing Harrison, but isn't fully there on saying he will go to Michigan, so he made it "foggy".