U-M's Harbaugh, to ESPN: Losing Weber left a bruise

U-M's Harbaugh, to ESPN: Losing Weber left a bruise

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U-M's Harbaugh, to ESPN: Losing Weber left a bruise

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Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh oversees the introduction of the team's players by position group at media day August 6, 2015, in Ann Arbor.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh oversees the introduction of the team’s players by position group at media day August 6, 2015, in Ann Arbor.

Michigan and Ohio State don’t play until Nov. 28 in Ann Arbor.

But, in the meantime, each remains on the other’s mind.

The biggest off-field battle between the pair came on National Signing Day last February when, despite a late push from U-M and new coach Jim Harbaugh, Detroit Cass Tech tailback Mike Weber signed with Ohio State.

The story of his flipping on the final day was told as a central piece in this week’s ESPN the Magazine cover story, looking at the two coaches in the rivalry, Harbaugh and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

While rich with detail, including that the two were born in the same Toledo-area hospital six months apart, Harbaugh’s first direct comments about losing Weber show it stung:

“Regarding Weber, Harbaugh now says: “Was it a priority? Sure. Did that one leave a bruise? Yes. Did we get our nose bloodied and our lip split a little on that one? Yes. But today’s a new day. We’re back competing at it again.”

Though a talented player, the symbolism mattered as well between the two as Harbaugh tried to flip back the tailback who had been a U-M commit to former coach Brady Hoke:

“It became a street fight to get him at the end,” Meyer says.

The story said running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley was working on Weber for a few days before he was officially hired by U-M.

Rivalry continues in Columbus

ESPN visited the Buckeyes today, and there was a visible reminder about how much U-M matters to the national champions, with a U-M tackling dummy.

The ESPN story said Harbaugh has taken out all the OSU reminders installed by Hoke.

Contact Mark Snyder at msnyder@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mark__snyder.

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