Jim Harbaugh can be a bit of a polarizing figure, that is, he’s the kind of guy you either love or hate. There isn’t much in-between when it comes to the Michigan head coach.
But, regardless of what side of the fence you fall on, there’s no denying he’s a pretty unique individual. Northwestern quarterback and former five-star prospect Hunter Johnson peeled back the curtain on Harbaugh a little more recently, too.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune recently ran a tremendous feature on Johnson, who is expected to be the new leader of Northwestern’s offense with Clayton Thorson departing. While the story was focused on getting to know the new quarterback, there was an interesting tidbit about Johnson’s “funny” encounter with Harbaugh.
Johnson painted a pretty impatient picture of the Michigan head coach while on a recruiting visit in Ann Arbor.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Johnson met Harbaugh outside his office.
“I honestly didn’t recognize him at first because he kind of looked like he just rolled out of bed,” Johnson said. “His hair was all over the place. He said, ‘Hold on, let me get fired up real quick.’ He went back and put his khakis and hat on.”
Harbaugh showed Johnson items, including a rocking chair, from the coach’s favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel. (“You cannot beat the bacon,” Harbaugh told the San Jose Mercury News.)
Later they went out for pizza, and when the hostess was slow to find a table, Harbaugh took over.
“He was getting a little impatient, so he said, ‘I’m going to get this straightened out,’ ” Johnson recalled. “He went in the back and we got on the patio. The pizza took forever to get there, so he was getting even more frustrated. It was funny.”
Maybe Harbaugh was just having a bad afternoon. Or perhaps that’s how he is when recruits come to Ann Arbor. Either way, it seems to work.
Michigan landed the B1G’s top-ranked recruiting class this season, dethroning Ohio State from the that throne for the first time in nearly a decade. So, maybe Harbaugh’s antics weren’t appealing to Johnson, but clearly other elite prospects don’t mind too much.
It’s a great story from Johnson, proving that Harbaugh is still a pretty unique character, even when hosting some of the nation’s top recruits.