Michigan's Harbaugh struts through Texas as Big 12, SEC watch
Before Jim Harbaugh ever stepped foot in Texas, his presence was being felt all the way from Ann Arbor, Mich.
Soon after the former San Francisco 49ers coach took over the Michigan Wolverines, he nabbed Texas coach Charlie Strong's prized quarterback commit Zach Gentry, a 6-foot-6, pro-style quarterback who could have competed for the Longhorns' starting job this fall. Instead the New Mexico product will head north to wear the maize and blue.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who has made his living mining Texas talent, is well aware that next time it could be one of his recruits.
So it's with reason that Big 12 coaches (and others) are watching with reservation, and perhaps even downright anger, as Harbaugh this week strutted into Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb just west of Dallas, to attend one of his controversial satellite camps.
The SEC, big recruiters in Texas and which also is now home to Texas A&M, have vehemently objected to Michigan's out-of-state camps, and it's clear that Texas and other Big 12 schools aren't thrilled about Harbaugh's invasion into Texas' fertile recruiting fields. Harbaugh is making the rounds through several states on what's being called his "Summer Swarm Tour." This was his second Texas stop, hitting Houston earlier.
Of course the reason for the camps is obvious. Michigan must attempt recapture the program's allure with high school players in the sport's traditional hotbeds. Many of today's players might have no recollection of Michigan as a national power. The Wolverines have won 12 games combinrd over the last two seasons and have posted double-digit victories in a season just twice since 2003.
As for the players who attend, it seems to be well-received.
"It centers on everything outside of football," national recruit Jeffrey Okudah told the Dallas Morning News about his conversations with the Michigan coach during the camp. "What do you aspire to be in life? What are your goals and values? That’s important to coaches, as well as your football skills.
Okudah, who stars at South Grand Praire High School, has offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and just about every Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 program.
"It's the first time I got to sit down and speak with the Michigan coaches," Okudah told the Dallas Morning News. "That was pretty big-time; it kind of did move them up on my list."
That's music to Michigan's ears, while likely producing only steam from the ears of coaches in the Big 12 and beyond.
(h/t Dallas Morning News)
Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports