NCF On The Trail: Michigan Wolverines

If Jim Harbaugh takes the Michigan job, it could shake up the recruiting race in the Big Ten. Plus, Paul Chryst’s hiring at Wisconsin makes a lot of sense.

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Michigan reportedly offered its head coach position to San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday. That move perked up the ears of Michigan commitments and potential targets with the possibility of a big-name coach coming to Ann Arbor.

Coming off a losing season With six current commitments, Michigan is in an interesting situation, wanting to make a big splash with this hire. When former coach Brady Hoke was hired from San Diego State, some of the top national recruits had concerns about the coach because they didn’t know much about him and didn’t know if he could win at the highest level.

Both of those concerns would not be an issue with Harbaugh, as he is prominently known across the country and has proven to be a winner on all levels.

When 50 ESPN 300 Michigan commitments and targets were polled by ESPN.com earlier this month, 22 said they would like to see Michigan hire Harbaugh. If the Wolverines are able to reel in the coach, it could yield immediate results.

ESPN 300 tight end Chris Clark had been committed to Michigan since June 19, but decommitted on Dec. 2 to explore new options. Clark tweeted that he hopes Michigan does hire Harbaugh and said it would definitely help Michigan to get him back in the fold.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

December, 16, 2014
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We are almost in the home stretch on our way to signing day, so coaches are pushing it into overdrive to finish out their recruiting classes.

Here is a look at the latest news on the recruiting trail within the Big Ten.


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Tick. Tick. Tick.

With every passing second, Michigan is falling further and further behind in the recruiting battles for the Class of 2015.

Every other school that has not been touched by college football’s silly season will spend the next three days making in-home visits with recruits’ moms and dads, hosting prospects on official visits or dropping by high schools checking on junior and sophomore targets. Plus, on average most recruits take only two or three visits and for many this weekend puts them at that magic point in their decision-making process and now they’ll be able to hash out a choice with family and friends over the holidays.


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Three reasons why Michigan disappointed 

December, 11, 2014
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"Michigan Man" Brady Hoke cleaned up Rich Rodriguez’s failed spread “experiment” in his first season and led the maize and blue to a Sugar Bowl victory. Four years later, Hoke has been fired, the Wolverines have not found his replacement and Rich Rod’s Arizona Wildcats are headed to the Fiesta Bowl. What happened?


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Big Ten season recruiting superlatives 

December, 11, 2014
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While the recruiting season isn't quite finished, we are done with the regular season. It has been a crazy year within the Big Ten with coaching changes, big commits and big decommits as well. Here is a closer look at the Big Ten's recruiting superlatives.


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Nebraska and Florida have both filled their vacant head coaching positions after letting go of Bo Pelini and Will Muschamp, respectively, which has put Michigan in the spotlight.

Fans and recruits are now waiting to see what happens at Michigan and who the new coach will be. Speculation has run rampant with names across the board from NFL to college coaches being thrown around.


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Jordan Howard rushed for 1,600 yards at UAB this season, and now that the program has been shuttered, recruiters are lining up to get his transfer. Plus, with the Brady Hoke news, Michigan lost four-star tight end commitment Chris Clark. So where do recruits think he’ll end up?


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SMU’s move to hire Texas native Chad Morris will pay off big time on the recruiting trail. Plus, you have to really give credit to UAB coach Bill Clark for the recruiting job he did while his administrators were shuttering his program.


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Recruits react to Brady Hoke firing 

December, 2, 2014
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When Michigan fired coach Brady Hoke on Tuesday there were only seven commits left in the 2015 class. Those prospects have stayed committed this long, and most plan to do so despite the coaching change.

ESPN 300 offensive lineman Grant Newsome said he picked Michigan for the education and the opportunity within football, not for the coach. Because of that, he plans to stay committed to the Wolverines.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

December, 2, 2014
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The regular season has come to an end and there was plenty of recruiting action around the Big Ten. Here is a look at the latest in recruiting news within the conference.


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James Franklin comes up big again on the recruiting trail, playing a key role in landing talented cornerback Garrett Taylor. Plus, don’t be surprised if the silly season produces some major recruiting drama over the next two months.


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Best of the visits: Big Ten

November, 30, 2014
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Rivalry week did not disappoint this season throughout college football and the Big Ten. Michigan and Ohio State played in "The Game" and Minnesota battled Wisconsin for a spot in the Big Ten championship game, while plenty of recruits took in the exciting matchups.

In the 2015 class, UCLA offensive line commit Andre James took his official visit to Ohio State to see what all the hype was about.


Ole Miss offensive line commit Drew Richmond was also supposed to make the trip but ended up canceling the visit.

The Ohio State commits were also on hand to help recruit during the big game as well. Justin Hilliard, Matt Burrell and Jashon Cornell spent some time with ESPN 300 defensive lineman Neville Gallimore and four-star receiver Lawrence Cager.


Gallimore came all the way from Canada for the official visit, and the Buckeyes could be in good shape after the trip.


The Buckeyes also hosted some 2016 targets, including ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman Michael Onwenu from Detroit.


Onwenu was joined by some of his Cass Tech teammates, including ESPN Junior 300 defensive back Lavert Hill and 2017 receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, among others.

ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was also on hand for the game and got to meet former Buckeyes receiver Cris Carter before the game.

Robert Washington, an ESPN Junior 300 running back, made the trip up from North Carolina with his father and took to twitter to show off his view.


The Buckeyes weren’t the only B1G team with big prospects on campus, though. Penn State also had a ton of recruits in attendance for its game against Michigan State. The Nittany Lions didn’t win the game, but they did get some good news when ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Jake Zembiec committed on Saturday.


Zembiec got a chance to hang out with some of the other Penn State commits on hand and build some friendships for the future.


ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman E.J. Price and 2016 defensive end Tommon Fox drove up to Happy Valley from Georgia, and the trip was worthwhile as both prospects were offered scholarships.


Wisconsin had a big game as well, playing Minnesota for a spot in the Big Ten championship game. With that type of game, it’s only natural recruits would want to see it in person.

Linebacker target Christian Folau was one of those prospects and got a chance to snap a picture with Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon after the Badgers' win against the Gophers.


The Badgers also hosted ESPN Junior 300 running back Antonio Williams this weekend.


This visit is likely a big one for Wisconsin because Williams is slated to announce his decision Dec. 4. The Badgers are seemingly the leader, and with the win on Saturday it looks as though it will be very tough to beat Wisconsin for this talented back.
Michigan and Ohio State have always fought for some of the same recruits. The Wolverines win some and the Buckeyes win some, and those recruiting battles have real implications on the field.

Each team could have used one or two more victories on the recruiting trail, so let’s take a look at a few current players recruited by both teams who could have made an impact for the opposing team in the big game on Saturday, and a few future battles that could impact games in the years to come.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

November, 25, 2014
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Here is a look at all the most important recruiting action from this past weekend within the Big Ten conference.


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