Michigan Wolverines: Spring Game an Important Recruiting Tool for Jim Harbaugh

Chris Maurice discusses the importance of spring football for the Michigan Wolverines and head coach Jim Harbaugh as they try to recruit the star of 2016

Chris Maurice discusses the importance of spring football for the Michigan Wolverines and head coach Jim Harbaugh as they try to recruit the star of 2016

NCAA Football: University of Michigan-Jim Harbaugh Press Conference

Dec 30, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Jim Harbaugh speaks to the media as he is introduced as the new head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines at Jonge Center. (Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

For most college football programs, spring training and high school recruiting have little to nothing to do with each other. That’s not the case for the 2015 Michigan Wolverines and their new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The former San Francisco 49ers head coach is no stranger to building a winning program quickly. It took Harbaugh one season to take the Niners from a 6-10 team to an NFC Championship Game appearance.

Now, Harbaugh is charged with whipping his alma mater’s football program back into shape, as one of college football’s biggest, oldest programs has fallen upon hard times as of late. The Wolverines absolutely face planted in 2014 finishing 5-7, failing to qualify for a Bowl game for the third time in since 2008.

Dec 30, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh address the crowd during halftime of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Crisler Center. (Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 30, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh address the crowd during halftime of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Crisler Center. (Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

If Harbaugh wants to turn this team around, he will have to show high school stars that he is serious about winning—and this job starts with spring football. Harbaugh will need to get this team back to its old look as quickly as possible, but definitely by the time the Wolverine’s spring game rolls around in early April.

It may be too late for Michigan to land any of the top recruits for 2015, but making a good impression with 2016’s recruiting class begins now. Harbaugh will need to get the players excited and the fans back in full attendance to ensure next year’s freshman class that Michigan is serious about winning.

Three of Michigan’s top targets for 2016 have already declared that they are leaning toward Michigan, and re-establishing a winning attitude in the program would go a long way to help secure the team as the top school in the minds of players like 5-star offensive lineman Ben Brederson, 5-star defensive tackle Rashan Gary, and 4-star quarterback K.J. Costello.

Harbaugh has been one of the most anticipated college coaches in years, and the hype around the man hasn’t subsided a bit since he was introduced to Michigan fans back in late December. The turnout for the 2014 Wolverines spring game was a bit sad, but don’t be surprised if they break the school record this year.

The Michigan Wolverines’ spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, at Michigan Stadium.

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