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Has Jim Harbaugh created the ultimate recruiting sales pitch?

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Jim Harbaugh may have found the ultimate recruiting sales pitch that isn’t going anywhere soon, unless the NCAA steps in again.

Garrett Moores

Over the past weekend at the Aerial Assault QB camp in Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh shared details about their 2018 abroad trip plans. Reporters who attended the event heard it firsthand from the man himself about how it was determined and where they plan on going.

The team poll came up with some great destinations. “Right now we’re looking into going to Paris, and then Normandy and then finish up in London with a spring game,” Harbaugh added on Saturday during the Aerial Assault camp.

Since Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor, he has been featured in Planters peanut and Fairlife milk commercials, created his own rap video with Bailey and occasionally finds himself in some Twitter banter between coaches.

His commercial appearances, however, started back in 1996 with this gem promoting the video game Descent II. “You’re going down.”

Others followed shortly thereafter while playing quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts promoting Finish Line and 1-800-Collect to name a few. He has moved on from video games and shoe stores to more recent in 2014 promoting Docker’s khakis with his wife, Sarah.

The Ultimate Recruiting Sales Pitch?

Harbaugh’s proven success off the field has created a unique way to connect with players and their families without having to step foot on a tree or even in their house.

If a highly recruited player in the Midwest was not brought up to be a Wolverine or Buckeye, one could see what Michigan now offers that their biggest rival can’t, an abroad trip totally paid for and the chance to feel more like a college kid doing normal college kid things.

Sure, Harbaugh has not competed in the College Football Playoff or even the Big Ten Championship - yet. It may not happen in 2017, but many anticipate it will happen very soon. Winning it all and being on top of the playoff is the ultimate goal, but others find their way with proper coaching and development to the NFL. That was recently the case for 19 players on the squad last year, so it proves the staff can coach these kids to compete at the highest level.

Student-athletes are offered so many benefits and perks by their school, but it’s difficult to offer that true experience of traveling and studying abroad because of the many commitments and class schedule. Harbaugh has nailed it this time in a way many see as the ultimate team-bonding experience.

People have found that his satellite camp tour all over during June has been more a recruiting tool, but many can agree this abroad trip idea is a home run. Yes, it’s an expensive trip, somewhere around $800,000, but what the players and coaches get out of it is far beyond the dollars spent.

This off-season was definitely won by Harbaugh and Michigan because of their trip to Rome. It also allowed several players like Garrett Moores and Ben Bredeson to study abroad after that week, giving them an opportunity of a lifetime.

This annual trip does not mean it automatically creates National Championships, but it could be the extra point in Harbaugh and Michigan’s favor on the recruiting trail.