Listen above to the latest episode of The Michigan Rant podcast on recruiting
The fourth signing day of Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan tenure is less than 24 hours away.
And just like last year, it’s happening early as part of the new recruiting process.
Michigan expects to sign most of its 2019 football recruiting class during the early period, which begins Wednesday and runs through Friday. Speaking this week on his podcast, Harbaugh went into recruiting briefly.
Offering only a slight — but optimistic — preview.
“Wednesday’s going to be good,” Harbaugh said on his podcast, which was recorded Monday. “We’re going to have some fireworks on signing day, it’s going to be great.”
Michigan director of recruiting Matt Dudek, also appearing on Harbaugh’s podcast, replied with a bit of a chuckle.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “A couple fireworks.”
Harbaugh, of course, can’t publicly speak about any unsigned prospect — whether they’re committed to Michigan or not — until after that player’s letter of intent is processed.
The Wolverines currently sit with 25 committed prospects entering the early signing period. But Michigan’s hoping for more.
Harrison, from just north of Columbus, Ohio, is expected to have a quiet reveal about where he’ll play college football. Reports have had his recruitment down to Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State for some time now. Harrison is expected to simply tweet out his decision Wednesday morning before sending in his letter of intent to the school of his choice.
Plenty of recruiting experts had considered Harrison a possible Michigan lean throughout the month of November. Though as of Tuesday morning, per 247, Harrison projections have started to swing more toward Ohio State.
Hill, meanwhile, committed to Michigan back in September as the top-ranked safety prospect in the country. He appeared to be firm with the Wolverines until tweeting out his decision to decommit and flip to Alabama less than two weeks ago.
Michigan has continued to recruit Hill, despite his public flip. Michigan’s had hope to regain Hill’s pledge, though the Oklahoma native has been quiet. It’s unknown if he’ll sign early or wait until February.
Cornelius Johnson, a 4-star receiver from Connecticut, is also expected to announce his choice Wednesday. Michigan is absolutely in the mix.
All FBS coaches are currently in a dead period, which means they cannot have any in-person contact with a recruit until Jan. 10.
“December, it’s like it used to be in January when you just had the February signing,” Harbaugh said on his podcast. “I feel pretty confident we’re going to come close to a full class, if not a (completely) full class on Dec. 19.”
As of Tuesday morning, Michigan’s 2019 class ranks No. 9 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten — one spot ahead of Ohio State.
There’s still a big finish ahead, though.
With or without fireworks.
“We’ll be really proud about the class we’ll sign, (the work will be) worth it,” Harbaugh added. “But yeah, we were trying to have a bowl practice on, say, a Monday. So on Monday morning, you’re in a state having a school visit or in-home visit. And then it was back here for practice. And then back in the evening, you’d go to another home visit with another family.
“It’s a lot of work. But it sure doesn’t seem like work. You’re doing the things you love to do.”
Contact Nick Baumgardner: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.