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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh does a cartwheel in Michigan recruit Jaydon Hood’s commitment video

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan landed four-star linebacker recruit Jaydon Hood on Monday, and the announcement came with some serious flair.

Hood announced his commitment via video on his Twitter. It starts off as a rather standard video with highlights from Hood’s high school career, then a few Michigan highlights. Then it abruptly ends with Wolverine linebackers coach Brian Luc Jean-Mary, defensive coordinator Don Brown, and coach Jim Harbaugh doing cartwheels in their respective yards.

Harbaugh’s form isn’t perfect, but the effort is appreciated. And it makes for a memorable recruiting video, if nothing else.

We’ve seen that the Michigan coach is willing to go to great lengths to land recruits. Doing a cartwheel for a commitment video was probably an easy request for him to accept.

Chase Young has savage response to Jim Harbaugh’s Ohio State quote

Chase Young

Chase Young is in the NFL now, but the old college rivalries never truly end.

The former Ohio State defensive lineman had a pretty savage reply to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who said “nothing” makes the Wolverines angrier than losing to the Buckeyes.

Why is Young laughing? Probably in part because he never lost to Michigan. Other Ohio State players can make that claim as well, as the Buckeyes have only lost to the Wolverines twice since 2000.

Ohio State players are more than happy to remind Michigan of that record. Even former coach Urban Meyer can’t help but rub a bit of salt in the wound. Things like this are going to continue unless the Wolverines can start to turn their fortunes against the Buckeyes around.

Jim Harbaugh proposes major changes to NFL Draft eligibility rules

Jim Harbaugh

Current NFL rules require players to be at least three years removed from high school before they are eligible to play in the league, and Jim Harbaugh is calling for that to change.

In an open letter he wrote to the “College Football Community” on Thursday, Harbaugh outlined a detailed proposal that would give student-athletes more flexibility to determine when is the best time for them to pursue a professional career. The changes would give college players the right to decide when they want to test the NFL Draft waters. If the player were to go undrafted, Harbaugh believes he should have the option of being able to return to school.

“There are ‘early bloomers’ capable of competing in the NFL and earning a livelihood at an earlier age,” Harbaugh wrote in the letter. “The goal would be to create a scenario that makes adjustments for all current and future student‐athletes that puts the timeline for transition to professional football at their discretion and that of their family. I propose an option that allows them to make the decision that is best for them.”

You can read the full letter below:

Under Harbaugh’s plan, a player who is selected in the NFL Draft or signs with a team as a free agent would become ineligible to return to school. The Michigan coach is also calling for college athletes to be permitted to consult with agents before giving up their NCAA eligibility as long as they don’t receive any compensation.

Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, told ESPN’s Dan Murphy that roughly half of college coaches support the idea of allowing players to turn pro whenever they want. Many support the idea as an alternative to the recent plan that would permit college athletes to make money from their name, image and likeness while in school. A Michigan spokesman told Murphy that Harbaugh’s open letter was not intended to be a response to that development.

Harbaugh also proposes that schools continue to help players pursue a college degree even if they turn pro. He would like to see schools cover the costs of a player’s education depending upon how long they were enrolled in college. If a player attended college for a year, Harbaugh’s plan states that the school would cover the cost of one additional year of education if the player wanted to continue pursuing a college degree after his professional playing career ended.

There were other changes proposed by Harbaugh, including giving college players five years of eligibility even without a redshirt year.

Much like his proposal to revamp the College Football Playoff system, Harbaugh’s arguments seem well-thought-out. However, with the NCAA moving toward allowing players to make money while in school, it seems highly unlikely that they would also be in favor of changing NFL eligibility requirements at this time.

Jim Harbaugh: Tom Brady has ‘lapped the field’ in NFL ‘GOAT’ conversation

Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh is a major backer of Tom Brady.

Harbaugh spoke with National Review’s Jay Nordlinger Friday for an interview that’s gained attention due to Harbaugh sharing his view on abortion. Also in the conversation, the two old friends talked about sports, as expected. One topic had to do with Brady, who played quarterback at Michigan in college, which is where Harbaugh also played and is now the head coach.

Harbaugh heaped praised upon Brady, saying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has separated himself in the conversation for greatest player of all time (GOAT).

“No doubt about that – he’s the greatest of all time in football. And I think he’s pretty much lapped the field in my opinion,” Harbaugh told Nordlinger.

Brady wasn’t as highly-regarded in college as he became in the NFL and even split time with Drew Henson. But Harbaugh believes Brady, who went 20-5 as a starter and won two bowl games, was a winner back in college.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who knew him when he was here and they won,” Harbaugh said. “They won games when he started. He was in a quarterback competition, I think it was Drew Henson was a phenom quarterback who came in as a freshman and Tom was an upperclassman. They were splitting time. But Tom won big games and was drafted in the sixth-round, was very famously a late-round pick, but became the greatest of all time.”

If Brady were more highly regarded, he would have gone much higher in the NFL Draft than No. 199 overall in the sixth round. But it didn’t take long after he took over for Drew Bledsoe to prove how good he is. Now 20 years later, he’s won more Super Bowls than any player in history (six) and is attempting to show that even at 43 in August, he can still play at a high level. And Harbaugh knows from experience how good Brady is.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Nick Saban, Alabama run up the score against Michigan

Nick Saban grin

Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh don’t seem to get along very well, and the events that transpired late in the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday serve as further evidence of that.

Leading by 12 with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter, the Alabama Crimson Tide embarked on a nearly six-minute drive that crushed Michigan’s chances of mounting a late comeback. The real talking point came on the final play of said drive. Alabama could have easily taken a knee on 3rd and goal at the Michigan 2, and not had to run another play. Saban and the Tide, however, opted to run up the score, handing the ball to running back Najee Harris for a two-yard touchdown.

That was eye-opening enough, but Michigan added to the intrigue on their brief ensuing drive. The already-beaten Wolverines opted to spike the ball with two seconds left to set up a Hail Mary try from the Alabama 41, even though it would have had no bearing on the outcome. The attempt was intercepted by Alabama in the end zone.

In other words, in a game that was already over, both teams kept trying to hurt the other. One might chalk that up to attitude and two programs with elite ambitions, but it would also be easy to point to some enmity between the two coaches.

While both were very cordial speaking before and after the game, some words were exchanged back in 2016, when Harbaugh was establishing satellite camps in SEC country. Saban raised concerns about that practice, which led to Harbaugh publicly going after the Alabama program. Saban tried to downplay any tension between the two, but the fact is he probably hasn’t forgotten that response. It may well have been in the back of Saban’s mind on Wednesday when he had the chance to make a point to Harbaugh on the field for the first time head-to-head.

Report: Jim Harbaugh is not Panthers’ top target for head coach

Jim Harbaugh

The Carolina Panthers are looking for a new head coach after firing Ron Rivera this week, but don’t expect them to turn to Jim Harbaugh.

Peter Schrager appeared on FOX’s NFL pregame show prior to Thursday night’s Bears-Cowboys game and said Harbaugh is not the team’s top target.

There really never was any rumor suggesting the Panthers had interest in Harbaugh. The only place the two were linked was through a betting website that sent press releases to many sports writers about the odds on the next Panthers coach, which isn’t a report or even a rumor.

Schrager says Panthers owner David Tepper will be open to a potential college coach to fill the position.

Tepper has already stated what he is looking for in a coach.

“What I want for the organization in general is a mesh of old and new,” Tepper said. “Old football discipline, modern processes, modern analytics. But I respect old school discipline, too.”

Wow, that sounds like the perfect coach! Does this person actually exist in the NFL, outside of maybe New England? Best of luck in finding him, David.

Urban Meyer’s daughter posts Jim Harbaugh meme after rivalry win

Urban Meyer

Jim Harbaugh finally got to take on an Ohio State team that was not led by Urban Meyer on Saturday, but the result was the same for Michigan. And even though Meyer no longer coaches the Buckeyes, one of his daughters is not finished trolling Harbaugh.

Following Ohio State’s dominant 56-27 win at Ann Arbor on Saturday, Meyer’s daughter Gigi took to social media to take a shot at Harbaugh.

Meyer owned Harbaugh when the two coached against one another, and his protege Ryan Day is now picking up right where the three-time national champion left off. It makes sense that the Meyer family is enjoying the win, as the 2019 Buckeyes are still Urban’s team in many ways. If they end up winning a national championship, his fingerprints will certainly be all over it.

This isn’t the first time one of Meyer’s daughters has thrown shade at Harbaugh, and it may not be the last. Rivalries as big as the one between Ohio State and Michigan don’t just disappear overnight for those who were involved with them.