ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Members of Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class don’t know much about new Wolverines assistant Jim McElwain, but they’re enthusiastic about the possibility of working with him.
“Jim McElwain’s hire, I thought that was a huge pickup,” Luke Schoonmaker, a tight end from Hamden, Conn., told Land of 10. “I just think Jim Harbaugh is bringing in the right people who really mirror what he’s about, and his leadership qualities and life skills.”
Michigan announced the hiring of McElwain as its wide receivers coach on Tuesday. McElwain replaces Dan Enos as Michigan’s 10th assistant coach. Enos left Michigan after less than six weeks to become Alabama’s offensive coordinator.
McElwain is one of three new assistants on Harbaugh’s staff, joining Al Washington (defense) and Sherrone Moore (tight ends). McElwain comes to the Wolverines after 2 1/2 seasons as coach at Florida, where he finished 22-12 and led the Gators to two SEC East championships.
McElwain’s tenure at Florida ended with some controversy. Florida suspended several players prior to the season because of their role in a credit card fraud case. McElwain also claimed his family and players had received death threats that Florida could not substantiate. McElwain and Florida agreed to mutually part ways on Oct. 29.
None of that deters one of Michigan’s incoming freshmen.
“I feel as if he is a great addition to the coaching staff,” Cameron McGrone, a 4-star linebacker from Indianapolis told Land of 10 in a text message. “I don’t know much about him, but I sure know he is bringing something great to Michigan.”
At least one parent of incoming recruits is also enthusiastic about the addition of McElwain to Harbaugh’s staff.
“It’s a good hire for the program,” said Monday Nickerson-Green, the mother of defensive backs Gemon and German Green of DeSoto, Texas. “It will help the program, and I’m excited about it!”
McElwain will work with a deep pool at receiver in 2018. Michigan returns Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Kekoa Crawford, Eddie McDoom, Nico Collins and Grant Perry. Oliver Martin should see playing time after redshirting in 2017.
Ronnie Bell of Kansas City, Mo., is the only wide receiver in Michigan’s incoming freshman class. Harbaugh projected on signing day that athlete/quarterback Michael Barrett could play at running back or wide receiver.
“I am excited to work with this offensive staff and Coach Harbaugh,” McElwain said in a statement. “There are a lot of great offensive minds in that coaching room and I look forward to learning from them.”