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Jim Harbaugh visits Detroit, makes pitch for recruits, satellite camps

By: Tom Markowski, April 14, 2016, 5:48 pm



Detroit – Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he hasn’t forgotten Detroit and that U-M is “going to take care of our own.”

Harbaugh, in the middle of the satellite camp controversy, spoke at a coaches’ clinic on Thursday at the Horatio Williams Foundation headquarters near Greektown in downtown Detroit.

A large group of high school coaches from Detroit, like Donshell English of Detroit Mumford, and nearby suburbs, like Dearborn, including Walker Zaban of Dearborn Fordson, were in attendance.

Before speaking to the coaches, Harbaugh addressed the media and addressed issues like recruiting in Detroit and the recent ruling by the NCAA to ban satellite camps.

“(Detroit has) always meant a lot to me,” he said. “I go back a long ways.

“Just driving in this evening, the relationships that are built. There’s a year of evidence. We know what (the high school coaches’) agenda is. It’s their kids. The other part is to teach football. I know (Detroit athletes are) good. They’re fighters.”

U-M signed 21 players, seven others enrolled early, from the class of 2016, Harbaugh’s own after taking over for Brady Hoke, who was fired following the 2014 Big Ten season. Much of the players who signed with U-M in the class of 2015 were Hoke’s.

Of those 28, just three played high school in Michigan, two were from Detroit. The two from Detroit are Lavert Hill from Detroit King and lineman Michael Onwenu from Detroit Cass Tech. The third is kicker Quinn Nordin from Rockford.

One player, in particular, from Detroit and from the class of 2017, whom Harbaugh is recruiting is receiver Donovan People-Jones of Cass Tech. There are most certainly others but Peoples-Jones is the next big prize from Detroit.

Addressing the satellite camp issue, Harbaugh defended his criticism of the ruling set down by the NCAA.

“It affects so many of us,” he said. “I’ve heard so many comments. I heard a player from a different university talk about how important Sound Mind Sound Body was to him. I reflect on my experiences. Everything you dreamed of comes closer. You can touch it.”

Harbaugh concluded by saying he hopes he receives the backing of the Big Ten, its coaches and administrators, and others from others conferences to support his discontent and dislike of the NCAA’s ruling.

Williams agreed with Harbaugh saying “some parents can’t afford the travel expense to go to camps like Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s all about the kids.”