Jim Harbaugh will give the commencement address at New Jersey’s Paramus Catholic High School later this summer.
It’s as if Jim Harbaugh has a laundry list of ways to work new recruiting angles. It’s like he spent his four-year sabbatical in the NFL much like Max Cady, knowing one day he’d return home and all the while planning ways to live in the gray and skirt the law.
While (probably) untrue, such is the way Harbaugh comes off with news that he will deliver a commencement address at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey this summer. This is the same high school, mind you, that both Jabril Peppers and Rashan Gary attended. And the news comes less than 72 hours after the NCAA put the ol’ kibosh on satellite camps – of which Harbaugh reportedly had roughly 30 lined up.
According to Paramus High’s president Jim Vail, engagement has nothing to do with sports. Vail told NorthJersey.com the following:
“Commencement is an academic ceremony. It’s not connected to athletics,” school president Jim Vail told the site. “But I have gotten to know Coach Harbaugh pretty well. I’m not a football guy, but I know a great educator when I see one, and he always impressed me as a great educator and great leader.
“He’s a very dynamic individual. He does many things that would make him a great role model for our students.”
To be fair, the timing is all likely coincidental. Harbaugh didn’t have satellite camps pulled out from under him and then have his booker immediately schedule commencement addresses throughout the tri-state area, down the Eastern seaboard and into SEC country. Coaches, politicians, actors and really any public figure are prone to give speeches around this time of year. Nevertheless, the timeline sure makes for a nice narrative — if not some conspiracy theories.
Harbaugh has already established quite the New Jersey pipeline. If the trail leads to instructing recent grads about how to attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, so be it. It’s a win for the kids, Harbaugh and Michigan’s brand awareness. And even if it is recruiting in the guise of life advice, at least the entire student population benefits, not just athletes.