CoachingSearch.com reported this morning that John Van Dam will leave Alabama to become Michigan's offensive quality control assistant - essentially, an administrative assistant for position coaches, who compiles scouting reports, breaking down film, etc. The Denver Post gave a quick primer on the NFL's quality control assistants a few years ago.
However, Scout.com reported what's likely to be a big loss for the Wolverines: Damien Harris, a five-star running back from Kentucky, has decommitted from Michigan. Harris verbally committed in the summer and was expected to be a part of Michigan's incoming 2015 class, which was expected to include George Campbell, a five-star wide receiver from Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Usually, recruits like to gush when they're visited by a college coach - look at what social media has done to open even more floodgates. But Harris, whom Rivals.com ranks as the top running back in the Class of 2015, remained mum after his recent visit from Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, per WTKA in Ann Arbor.
This morning his mother told Scout.com that he was re-opening his recruitment and de-committing from Michigan. Michigan could re-court Harris - but a big chip in this pursuit was Al Borges, whom Michigan dismissed earlier this month. That swayed Harris.
Michigan has an unwritten rule that after you give a verbal (read: non-binding) commitment to join the program, the promise of a scholarship is revoked if you choose to re-open your recruitment.
Still, recruiting, it's like buying a car or a house - a huge investment. You don't just jump on the first thing that resonates with you. You look around to find out if, by chance, there's something else that suits you. You're considering an investment, not a pair of shoes or a sweater.
Oh, and this isn't helping the cause:
Harris' coach said the only impact a fan can have on a prospect's recruitment is a negative one. Apparently Michigan fans have been nasty.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 21, 2014
(rational Michigan fans, cue your best Britney fan voice: "leave Damien Harris alone!")