Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh spoke the media after the Signing of the Stars event on Wednesday and confirmed plans for the team to head to Florida for a portion of spring practice.
#Michigan spring practices will be at IMG Academy, per Harbaugh.— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) February 3, 2016
Harbaugh is always full of surprises and innovative ideas and this is another one. The Wolverines will spend their spring break week down in Florida, starting on Feb. 27.
"We've got some good plans to have swim meets, putt-putt golf. We're going to have football meetings. We're going to have practices," Harbaugh said. "It gives us a chance to win on a lot of different levels."
Just looking at what it does for the team presently assembled, it will be a great chance for the players to get to bond and get even closer. Being on the road for a week with teammates should go a long way in strengthening bonds and creating memories off the field, because believe it or not, it looks like Harbaugh will have them doing things other than just football-related activities down there.
Academically it works out great for the team as well. By practicing over spring break, that opens up winter finals week where players can turn their full attention to exams without having to worry about football.
A huge potential payoff here also comes from spending a week at IMG Academy, which features a goldmine of high school football talent in the 2017 class.
"Why would Jim Harbaugh want to hold spring practice at IMG Academy in Florida?"— Scott Bell (@sbell021) February 3, 2016
*Pulls up 2017 rankings*
Scott pretty much sums it up there.
Harbaugh and staff have been excellent at building pipelines since they arrived at Michigan. Some of the natural ones, like Cass Tech in Detroit, will always be there because of local ties. But we have seen the staff develop ties to schools like Prattvile HS in Alabama, Flanagan HS in Florida and Paramus Catholic in New Jersey.
If they can find an in with IMG Academy, that is a big deal for a program that has placed a renewed importance on national recruiting. Will it pay off? It may not, but it will not be for lack of effort.
Harbaugh is very good at planning things that work out on a variety of levels. This seems like a good opportunity for all involved and is allowed by the NCAA, so kudos to Michigan for continuing to find ways to separate themselves from what the rest of the college football world is doing.