INDIANAPOLIS — Ever wonder exactly how competitive Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is? Just ask his brother, one of the few people who have known him the longest.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday at the 2017 NFL Combine that his brother’s competitive nature isn’t simply an act.
“If a football gets stuck up in a tree, he’ll be the first guy climbing up there to get it,” said John Harbaugh, who is a little more than a year older than Jim Harbaugh. “Whatever happened. If it’s shirts and skins, and he’s on the skins team, the shirt’s coming off (laughs). Whatever. I think he’s really fun to play for. That’s just who he is.”
That competitiveness even extends to recruiting, a realm where Michigan’s third-year coach has made a definite impression. In the last two years, 247Sports has ranked Michigan as having the No. 6 recruiting class nationally in 2017 and No. 5 class in 2017, and Michigan’s haul this year included 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon.
“Recruiting, I can tell you this about Jim Harbaugh, my brother,” John Harbaugh said. “He’s not trying; it’s not a tactic. He’s not trying to be something he’s not. He’s not trying to prove anything. He’s just being himself. He’s going to have fun. He’s going to enjoy himself.”
And, of course, Jim Harbaugh’s focus is football.
“I think he’s really fun to play for,” John Harbaugh said. “If I was a big-time recruit, I’d play for Jim Harbaugh. I know I’m going to have fun and he’s going to get the best out of me. He’s going to prepare me to get to this level, he’s going to make sure I get my degree. We’re going to do things the right way. But if you don’t love football, if you don’t love football, if you don’t want to go to practice, if you don’t want to be in football meetings, go play somewhere else because that’s what he’s all about.”
Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman contributed to this report.