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Jim Harbaugh Rose Bowl presser: Jalen Milroe, game preparation, Disneyland, more

Jim Harbaugh spoke about the Rose Bowl, NFL rumors, and his memories of Disneyland.

2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Jacob Singer Jake Singer is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. He is a Michigan Football and Basketball Writer for SB Nation's Maize and Brew

The Michigan Wolverines touched down in Los Angeles, California for the Rose Bowl this week, and on Wednesday, head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media.

With less than a week until the Wolverines take on the Alabama Crimson Tide, Harbaugh was both tight-lipped and joyous to be at the “happiest place on Earth.”

Here is what Harbaugh had to say:

  • When asked about the team’s preparation for the game, Harbaugh said, “It’s been good. “Guys, they’re really sharp, very energized. It’s all been really good — locked in, focused. I’m not sitting here today saying we’ve done everything and anything that we can because there’s still a week to go. I want that feeling on game day. Everybody’s as confident as they can be and precise in what they’re doing, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s in a good place. We’re just refining it — looking at everything that we can. And we’ll do that right up until game day.”
  • Harbaugh also added the Rose Bowl is, “Right where we want to be,” and, “Two great programs facing off in a in a playoff atmosphere, I mean, it’s as good as it gets at this stage. We’re honored and excited to be here, and who’s got it better than us? That’s what comes to mind.”
  • With the looming contract rumors swirling around about Harbaugh’s future with Michigan and possible interest in returning to the NFL, Harbaugh deflected on all those questions, using his signature “one-track mind” line and keeping all focus on the Rose Bowl.
  • Relating to the team’s preparation, Harbaugh believes Alex Orji could be Michigan’s version of Jalen Milroe in 2024 and beyond. “(Milroe) is like a real polished Alex Orji. The athletic skillset, the playmaking ability, just the ability to extend plays — make plays — is really … the volume of the work and how it’s progressed is really impressive.”
  • Harbaugh was also asked about whether J.J. McCarthy is an NFL prospect: “What’s the advice I will give him?” Harbaugh asked rhetorically. “One-track mind right now, just stay in the here and now, see if you can’t dominate this day. But I can’t lie and say I don’t think he’s NFL-ready. I very much think he’s NFL-ready.”
  • Finally, Harbaugh said he will be enjoying his time at Disneyland: “This is the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland. And what a slogan. They nailed it with that slogan. And I’d agree — especially as a kid. Then, once you get to being about 17, 18, 19, or 59, 60 — the happiest place on Earth is a winning locker room.”

Michigan will face its toughest test of the season on Monday as it takes on Alabama. Nonetheless, Harbaugh appeared to be his usual self, taking in all Disneyland has to offer and preparing his guys for battle.