It’s finally over.
For the first time in a year, we no longer have to speculate on the association between Najee Harris and Michigan.
The 247Sports composite’s No. 1 overall prospect in 2017 is going to Alabama and will enroll early, SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner reported Sunday.
With numerous fans asking about what exactly happened in the Harris recruitment, I’ll offer some final words on Harris’ decision before I focus on what’s ahead after this crazy recruitment.
Nothing I wrote was ever a lie, nor do I believe anyone this was any sort of troll job. While a lot of fans are very upset about Harris’ decision, the truth is — as I clearly wrote here — no one outside of Harris’ innermost circle truly knew what he was going to do until he showed up at that airport on Sunday morning.
Michigan’s personnel was very confident heading into this week with its chances with the 5-star back. That confidence began to waver upon 247Sports’ Barton Simmons’ report last week that the Northern California native changed his flight destination from Oakland to Birmingham. But the Wolverines coaches still didn’t know for sure, which led me to writing the story I linked to earlier.
As for that potential troll job, I don’t find Harris to be the type of person to engage is such tactics, nor do I see the Alabama staff orchestrating such a thing. Harris had a decision to make. It obviously saw a bit of back and forth, but, he ended up making the decision he felt was best. And that was Alabama.
I encourage all Michigan fans to do one thing: Move on.
Sure, Michigan failed to get that big win against Alabama. The value of Harris is obvious and walking away empty-handed sucks. But it’s one recruit. And there are 27 future Wolverines in this class that are very good.
Remember what Michigan did just a few weeks ago?
The Wolverines landed a deadly receiver duo in Donovan Peoples-Jones (5 stars) and Tarik Black (4 stars). In what I find to be the state’s best class in a decade, they secured seven of the top 10 recruits in Michigan, all of the top 6.
Michigan has commitments from nine of the nation’s top 125 prospects. Six U.S. Army All-Americans. Six Under Armour All-Americans. And, arguably, the best defensive line class in the country: Four 4-star prospects, two 3-star prospects, three All-Americans.
There are holes in this class, yes. Michigan needs a running back and a defensive tackle, and could use another cornerback. But … things are looking good again with 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon, via a video of Solomon from Scout’s Sam Webb following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michigan is heavily in the mix for 3-star CB prospect Brandon Sebastian, as well. And they will shift their focus to a new running back, should they feel they need one.
The point is, this class is still the nation’s fourth-best. If Harris committed, it still would have been No. 4, behind Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama.
Things are just fine in Ann Arbor.