As a “fun thing” to do, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh this week arranged for plaques to be hung above each player’s locker.
Each plaque contained a photo and bio of the player from during his high school recruitment.
What about one for Harbaugh?
“They didn’t have the internet back in 1982 that I’m aware of,” Harbaugh said.
Fortunately, however, the John Kryk Football Archives go that far back.
As an unofficial college and Michigan football historian of sorts, I possess far too many musty boxes in my basement, to my wife’s chagrin. One produced the accompanying goods.
At his Wednesday news conference, Harbaugh sold short the modest buzz that actually did surround his own high school recruitment.
“I think in my day I was a fantastic player,” Harbaugh said. “But, for some reason, people just couldn’t see it. The college scouts and the scribes and the pundits just for some reason did not see it.”
Harbaugh chose to accept an athletic scholarship from the University of Michigan, whose practices he’d attended as a kid along with older brother John, as dad Jack Harbaugh coached defensive backs for Bo Schembechler from 1974-79.
Jim became a three-year starter and, as a senior in 1986, was named Big Ten MVP, a second-team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
The accompanying photo (above, from a 1982 Michigan football game program) was taken of Harbaugh when he was an 18-year-old true freshman, in ’82.
“To me, as I look through every single picture of every single guy,” Harbaugh said of his players’ high school photos, “I was moved by the eyes. It’s always in the eyes. They’re cheerful and undefeated. And it was nice to put those photos up.”
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The Freshman bio, inset above, was taken from the inaugural issue of the now defunct aMaize’nBlue magazine on University of Michigan athletics, September 1982 issue, Volume 1, Number 1. >>