The Wicked Witch of the West: Water.
Jim Harbaugh? The U.S. Postal Service.
“A day or two ago, they sent my mom a card thanking us for going to the Michigan bbq,” Aubrey Solomon, a four-star defensive line prospect out of Leesburg, Ga., told 247sports.com.
Which was cool, except …
“But we never went,” Solomon continued. “I do not know which recruit they were talking to, but it was not me.”
“It was just a little heartbreaking, for me to supposedly be so high on their list, for them to confuse me with someone else. Plus they spelled both of my names wrong after I told them, but that was not the main issue. I guess they do not have tabs on me.”
At any rate, that’s the kid’s story. And unlike his commitment to the Wolverines, he’s sticking to it.
The 6-foot-3, 305-pound tackle on Monday formally announced his de-commitment from Harbaugh and the Wolverines’ Class of 2017, although he still plans on taking an official visit:
God Bless ? pic.twitter.com/Uub9inc0Da
— Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) August 22, 2016
The fifth-best defensive tackle find in the country, according to 247sports, Solomon — that’s S-O-L-O-M-O-N — had committed to Michigan on June 18. The big Georgia native was actually the second prep to renege on a Wolverines verbal on Monday: Defensive end/tight end Leonard Taylor — that’s T-A-Y-L-O-R, a 6-6, 258-pound prospect out of Springfield, Ohio — has also decided to, as he put it, “back off”:
— Leonard Taylor (@Lenny_T_20) August 22, 2016
Although it should be noted: #NoSpellcheck. And nary a mention of brisket.
A salesman — or shill, as they refer to the big lug south of Toledo — as shameless as Harbaugh is going to create nearly twice as many haters as friends, given enough turns at the microphone.
Michigan’s coach has no qualms about rolling in to the SEC town of his choice, setting up a satellite camp, and ending any argument by holding up a picture of the scoreboard at the 2016 Citrus Bowl. Captain Khakis, no coincidence, threw one such shindig in the hometown of the aforementioned Aubrey — that’s A-U-B-R-E-Y — back on June 2.
And on one level, the tenor of Solomon’s assertions ring as more than a bit curious, given that Harbaugh has the type of iron death-grip over his program that makes Josef Stalin look like Jeff Spicoli. Bleacher Report’s esteemed NFL columnist, Mike Freeman, once referred to the former San Francisco 49ers savior as an “uber control freak,” and that’s one of the kinder sentiments you’ll hear from pro football scribes that have spent more than a decade getting their souls sucked dry by The Great Wall of Belichick.
No. No, Harbaugh is a details guy, the obsessive-boss-who-might-key-your-car-if-you-cross-him sort of details guy, the kind of cocksure, wackadoo character who either:
a) absolutely (and insanely) thrives in high-pressure football environments; or
b) winds up being played in a movie by Leonardo DiCaprio.
In tandem, the Solomon and Taylor stories are probably another of the hundreds of cases of a kid falling in love with the sales pitch too fast, too soon, then waking up a few weeks (or months) later with a new crush. According to a Sports Illustrated study, of the 500 players ranked among Rivals.com’s Top 100 in the classes of 2007-’11, 14.6 percent de-committed at one point or another. And of that subset, 12.4 percent wound up signing with another school. It happens.
And if you’re a fan of Georgia or Alabama, you don’t give a flip if Solomon’s tale is more Ryan Lochte than George Washington. The kid can absolutely mash, even if Harbaugh’s underlings couldn’t spell the latter if you spotted them the ‘m’ and the ‘a.’
“My mom is a big, huge part because she knows me better than anyone,” Solomon told 247sports. “I really take her word in a lot. I felt like I did my commitment behind her back a little since she was not there. I want her to be more involved and I want to listen to her more.”
Check that. Harbaugh has two weaknesses: The Postal Service and helicopter moms.
“This go around,” Solomon continued, “I will make my decision with my mother in the driver’s seat.”
And a dictionary riding shotgun.
You can reach Sean Keeler via email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @seankeeler