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Jim Harbaugh is about as polarizing and unpredictable as you can get. He is known for his quirky metaphors, love of football, and “enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
There isn’t much the Michigan head coach hasn’t done to catch people off guard.
On Wednesday, Jim Harbaugh did what he’s done often, setting the sports world on fire.
The University of Michigan announced that former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick had spent the day with the team and was named honorary captain at this year’s Michigan Football Spring Game.
Do I think this was some political statement to appease people?
Do I think Harbaugh will use any resource to motivate his team and build upon last year’s historic season?
After spending four seasons with one another in San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh knows a lot about who Kaepernick is as a person and player.
He sees a comparison between his former QB and his current team and believes those experiences could benefit the Wolverines.
Kaepernick wasn’t the favorite QB in the 2011 NFL Draft. That honor goes to former #1 overall pick Cam Newton.
Yet Kaepernick has had one of the most successful careers out of all QBs in that draft class. Surpassing all expectations of his NFL scouting profile.
What’s This Mean For Michigan:
Though they are the defending B1G champions, most early-season predictions have Ohio State favored to win the conference crown next year.
With the talent and experience that the Wolverines are returning, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them repeat as back-to-back champions.
When Alex Smith went down with an injury, Kaepernick grabbed hold of the starting job and never let go.
When most fans expected Smith to step back into the lineup, Kaepernick instead proved why he was chosen as the starter moving forward.
He led the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance. During his six seasons in San Francisco, Kaepernick produced 12,271 yds, 70 TDS, and 30 ints.
He also added 2,300 rushing yards and 13 TDS.
What’s This Mean For Michigan:
Michigan finds itself in a particular spot. Everybody has seen what true freshman phenom JJ McCarthy was able to do in action last year.
Still, the cool, calm, and collected veteran Cade McNamara led the Wolverines to their first outright B1G championship in almost two decades.
Look for McNamara to prove why he is QB1.
NFL To Activist
Kaepernick has been one of the most polarizing figures in football over the last six years transitioning from NFL QB to social activist.
His impact on his former league and the upcoming talent is unmeasurable.
In an era where social justice issues have become highlighted nationally, Kaepernick has been one of the forefront leaders in such causes.
What This Means For Michigan:
There’s no denying that this type of move speaks volumes to many future recruits and their families.
Athletes have proven that they are more willing to go against the social norms to be in a place where they feel comforted, protected, and understood.
Hosting Kaepernick puts Michigan at the forefront of a movement that most colleges are afraid to touch.
They planted their flag where historically, most institutions toe the line. I expect this to speak volumes to future recruits the Wolverines are pursuing.
Nobody knows why Coach Harbaugh decided to bring Kaepernick to Ann Arbor and make him an honorary captain.
Could it have been for motivation?
I wouldn’t doubt it.
Could it have been as a recruiting tactic?
Could it have been a coach bringing in a former QB he respects and thought would be an incredible experience for his team?
The truth is, we’ll never know. That’s only a question Jim Harbaugh could answer.
If there’s one thing I can say, Harbaugh has an uncanny way of keeping his team relevant in both the national media and on the recruiting trail.
If that means calling on a favor from one of the most polarizing players in the last decade and honoring him at your spring game when most of the football world has deemed him untouchable, that sounds like the Jim Harbaugh I know.
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