Jim Harbaugh earned a reputation for being a relentless recruiter during his prior stints as a college football coach.
He is earning that rep once again.
Michigan’s new headman has been tirelessly working the phones all while he goes about trying to hire a coaching staff. One of his biggest calls today went out to Tampa (Fla.) Wharton wideout Auden Tate, and the Florida State commit was extremely receptive. That was due in large part to Harbaugh’s approach.
“First I was talking to Coach Singletary and then he put me on the phone with Coach Harbaugh,” Tate said. “We just really, like, talked for most of our conversation. We just talked about how I was doing, how he is doing… the whole situation. We weren’t really talking about recruiting at first, which is good. I liked that a lot because most coaches come straight at me with recruiting points and stuff like that, but we were just having a conversation. I really appreciated that. Then he talked to my dad for a little bit. (Harbaugh) talked to him about who he was and stuff like that.”
From that interaction both Tate and his father gained impressions of Harbaugh the man that are as favorable as their impressions of Harbaugh the coach.
“He has really changed a lot of programs around,” said Tate. “Stanford, and he did it with the 49ers, so he is a big (time) coach that can change a program around real fast.”
That’s certainly what Harbaugh plans to do in Ann Arbor as well, and he eventually got around to asking Tate to be a part of helping him do it.
“He was talking about trying to get me back up on campus,” Tate recalled. “It’s something I want to do, but we’ll have to see how things play out. “
The Sunshine State star visited Michigan officially back in November, so a return trip would be on his dime. That he is strongly considering it anyway speaks yet again to his boyhood affinity for the Maize & Blue.
“I’ll always have interest in Michigan,” said Tate. “They’ve never really lost (standing) with me… even when they lost Coach Brady Hoke.”
But that does NOT mean he is ready to back out on the Seminoles.
“I’m still committed to Florida State,” Tate said. “I talk to the coaches all of the time. I’m just real interested (in) Coach Harbaugh.”
Which begs the question, will the four-star pass-catcher be thinking about his options a little bit more.
“Yeah, you could say that,” Tate replied.
And Michigan isn’t the only alternative option he’ll be pondering. Tate has an official visit to Forida scheduled for later this month.
“I like coach (McElwain),” Tate stated. “He does a great job with receivers. Julio Jones, Marquise Maze, the receiver that he had… (Rashard Higgins) at Colorado State, so he does a good job of moving his receivers around.
The race to see which program will have the opportunity to move Tate around the next four years is one that clearly is far from being over.
Story by Sam Webb
Interview by Amy Campbell