In his quest to make Michigan football into a national title contender, Jim Harbaugh became an aggressive and innovative recruiter.
Having devoted his entire adult life a sport that leaves little margin for error, Harbaugh understood superior talent almost always wins.
So, at the outset of his tenure in Ann Arbor, he immediately set out and toured the country while holding satellite camps that promoted his program — rankling rivals and spurring NCAA rule changes that would eventually restrict the practice.
He then staged the “Signing of the Stars,” an event heralding the incoming class of prospects that featured celebrity appearances by the likes of Tom Brady and Derek Jeter.
He made headlines when he participated in a sleepover, staying the night at the home of a hot-shot kicker to try to woo him to Ann Arbor, which he did. In the last calendar year, he has promoted himself a crusader for student-athletes’ rights, backing one proposal that would allow them to transfer one time without penalty and formulating another that would give football players the freedom to enter the NFL draft at any point during their college careers.