Let’s just come right out with it: college football recruiting has – in many ways – jumped the shark a little bit. I think we can all admit that.
In a world full of confusing rules and a host of gray areas in respect to communications, ethics and behaviors, it’s not surprising that schools will, on occasion, make a gaffe when it comes to thumping their own chest. It’s all well and all good.
At least until you take credit for developing an NFL player that you never recruited, never helped coach at the collegiate level and never coached in the NFL, either. Tonight, the University of Michigan’s new recruiting Twitter account (@UMJumpmanFB) released an awesome graphic that illustrated just how successful Jim Harbaugh has been at developing NFL talent.
Very impressive indeed. However, there are some questions about exactly how a player comes to be on this list, and former Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier has one of those questions.
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) August 20, 2016
Shazier is in the photo (upper middle, second-row from the top next to a Buffalo Bills player and Jason Witten), but the former Plantation High School (Florida) linebacker, who first committed to Urban Meyer and Florida before flipping to Jim Tressel and Ohio State, clearly has no affiliation with Harbaugh or Michigan.
So, that makes you think, right? When did Jim Harbaugh coach Jason Witten? Witten was a standout at Tennessee and has spent his entire NFL career in Dallas. No. 92 for the Bengals in the upper-left? That’s either James Harrison (Kent State) or Pat Sims (Auburn) and so it’s unclear how they ended up in the picture either for that matter.
What about Sebastian Janikowski? The left-footed kicker from Florida State has been an Oakland Raider his entire career (since 2000) and Harbaugh coached quarterbacks in Oakland (2002-2003), so are they claiming Harbaugh developed Janikowski at Florida State, or as a kicker in the NFL? Maybe just as a person? It also appears that former Stanford offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who Harbaugh did coach at Stanford, is in the graphic twice, once as a Miami Dolphin (No. 71 in the middle left) and as a 49er (No. 71, upper-left).
Also, while we’re asking the big questions here, what the heck does “106 scholarships” mean? Is the suggestion that Harbaugh has only offered 106 players in his head coaching career? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense of course, since according to 247Sports.com Michigan has offered 293 student-athletes in the 2017 recruiting class alone.
Michigan deleted the tweet on Saturday morning, but not before a lot of questions could be asked.
Can we get some clarity here? Anyone?