Four-star defensive end Donovan Jeter backed out of his verbal commitment to Notre Dame after the Irish started losing football games and reopened his recruiting. He visited Michigan over the weekend and gave another verbal commitment, promising this one will stick.
Jeter lavished praise on “cool dude” Jim Harbaugh after spending the weekend in Ann Arbor. This isn’t entirely surprising. Harbaugh has unlocked the secret sauce to impressing 16-18 year-olds with his wacky antics. But Jeter’s complimentary words were laced with criticism for embattled Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Jeter elaborated, saying, “He doesn’t act like he’s important. … He’s real down to earth and humble. He’s easy to talk to. Talking to Brian Kelly wasn’t fun. It wasn’t cool. You have to make an appointment just to go to his office. Coach Harbaugh has an open-door policy. Every one of Michigan’s coaches has an open-door policy.”
Jeter and a few other potential Michigan recruits were on campus Saturday night with current Michigan players. Harbaugh picked up the recruits at midnight.
“He picked us up in a van to take us back to the hotel,” Jeter said. “What other head coach would come and pick up recruits at midnight in a van?”
Kelly has been in the crosshairs this season after a 2-5 start. His demonstrative body language on the sidelines and habit of pointing fingers after failure has not won him any new fans. It’s not difficult to believe Jeter’s assessment of joyless office hours.
This isn’t a great headline for Kelly but it also shows the state of today’s recruits. It’s not realistic for Jeter or any other player to think the happy feel-good times banter will always be in place. The coach they see during recruitment isn’t exactly the same coach that will be barking at them for four-five years.
Even if he has a sweet van.