The end is coming.
For those cheering for or rooting against Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class, Wednesday should be a merciful conclusion.
As much as Michigan fans have enjoyed a year of head coach Jim Harbaugh’s antics and schemes, finally reaching national signing day enables most of them to exhale.
Capping a year of satellite camps, shirtless football, tree-climbing, class-attending, sleepovers and countless other recruiting innovations, the pen goes to the paper and the paper to the fax machine Wednesday as those players are bound to Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh and Michigan will conclude the year with one more unique, unprecedented recruiting event: an introduction of the class at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the “Signing of the Stars,” complete with celebrities, sponsors and a two-hour, invitation-only show, benefiting the ChadTough Foundation.
All of that is the glitter, hoping to sell future recruits on Michigan. As for the current recruits, the difference between a very good class and one that’s elite rest in a bevy of decisions.
Unlike most other schools, waiting on just a few players, Michigan’s finish could swing wildly based on which unannounced prospects commit and sign Wednesday.
Michigan is among the national leaders with 25 commits entering Wednesday, but will wind its way through the day still waiting on nine players to make their announcements.
The biggest in every sense is 6-5, 300-pound defensive tackle Rashan Gary, from Paramus (N.J.) Catholic. The nation’s consensus No. 1 player reportedly has narrowed his choices to Michigan and Clemson and will announce on ESPN just after noon.
Michigan already has an elite class — it is ranked No. 5 by Rivals.com entering Wednesday — but the Wolverines have a chance to have their highest team ranking of the Rivals.com era (since 2002). Michigan’s top-ranked class prior to this year was 2013, when the Wolverines ranked fifth.
Much of the focus Wednesday will be on Harbaugh, who always has another idea up his sleeve. That’s part of what appeals to the players, who aren’t shocked by any of it.
“He just acts himself,” Michigan commit Ron Johnson, from Camden, N.J., told the Free Press last week. “That’s what I like about him. Most coaches put on an act, a recruiting act, like they’re not acting their self or being their self. Harbaugh acts himself.
“That’s why he sticks out.”