Last week The Michigan Insider reported that 2020 Marietta (Ga.) quarterback Harrison Bailey was “close” to reaching the decision. This afternoon via twitter the four-star prospect made it clear just how close.
“On Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 2:45pm in the Marietta Performing Arts Center; I will be announcing my college decision,” Bailey wrote.
That announcement comes just weeks after Michigan headman Jim Harbaugh made it down to the Peach State to watch the Bailey in person. The 6-4, 217-pounder threw for 161 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another in the first half of a game that he left due to injury. He didn’t return in the second or for the remainder of the season, but he turned his share of heads while healthy.
“The season went great,” Bailey’s father told The Michigan Insider. “He averaged 300-something yards per game. As a team we went through some rough spots with some kids not being eligible. That was a damper because we had like three division one kids not be eligible to play for us this year with a loaded schedule. The first five games were the hardest five games in the country I think they said, and overall the schedule was the seventh toughest in the nation. (Harrison had) close to 2900 yards in nine games against top 10 (caliber) teams in the country pretty much.”
That showing explains why Michigan has been hot of Bailey’s trail for the last few years. Several visits to Ann Arbor increased his comfort level with both players and coaches alike. Connections with Tarik Black, Shea Patterson, and 2020 commitment Nick Patterson are just a few that have been singled out. But the most important bond is the one that he has forged with Michigan quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton. He previously made note of how he found Hamilton’s no-coddle approach in their first ever meeting endearing. Their relationship has been growing ever since.
“Harrison immediately took to Pep,” Mr. Bailey said. “You know, you go on a lot of recruiting trips and coaches are telling you how great you are, how awesome you are, and how they’d love to have you at their school. My correspondence with Harrison after the first time he met Pep (indicated that) Pep was more like, ‘young man, let’s see what you know on the board. Let’s pick your brain.’ He was real demanding of Harrison. Even at that point, probably knowing that they were going to offer Harrison, he still said, ‘look, I want to see who you are mentally and see if it’s a good fit here.’ That demand actually piqued Harrison’s interest, and I think that’s where the bond started.”
That relationship bodes well for Michigan chances. Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida State are others that he has spoken highly of at times recent months, but if the Crystal Ball picks are a guide to next week’s finish, the Wolverines will come out victorious in the end. We’ll all know for sure soon enough.
Stay tuned to The Michigan Insider for more on Bailey in the coming days and weeks.