Michigan faithful are waiting by their phones and computers, following every possible rumor or tidbit involving the coaching search, and in particular, the decision-making process of former Wolverines quarterback and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
If it is Harbaugh, he would bring instant name recognition and an NFL background to the recruiting trail. He will need it because the Wolverines currently only have six commitments in the 2015 class.
Michigan got a lot of mileage out of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's NFL ties the last few years, notably his time coaching Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and other stalwarts while with the Baltimore Ravens. Harbaugh would be able to toss out names like Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, as well as the players he coached at Stanford like Andrew Luck.
Luck was part of what Scout West Coast analyst Brandon Huffman believes was the class that led to Harbaugh's ultimate success at Stanford, and a good sign for his potential recruiting efforts should he land in Ann Arbor.
"At Stanford, Harbaugh's recruiting was off the charts," Huffman said. "His first full class in 2008 was one of the best classes you'll see, in terms of what those players did in their career.
"First, he signed Andrew Luck, dropping Dayne Crist to pursue Luck heavily. That worked out. He brought in some stars, who local schools wanted badly, like David DeCastro (Washington's top prospect) and Jonathan Martin (who was committed to UCLA) and both were All-Americans. Chase Thomas, he got out of SEC country, and he was a three-year starter. Sam Schwartzstein came from Texas and started for two years. Delano Howell was another multi-year starter."
Harbaugh continued that success the next three recruiting cycles, all of which netted national top 25 classes.
"His 2009 class was just as good, with stellar players like Shayne Skov, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo his first three commitments, and then the running backs on their Rose Bowl teams, Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney, plus All-American Trent Murphy and All-Pac-12 guys like Khalil Wilkes and Ben Gardner. And those two classes were off of 3-9 and 5-7 seasons. His recruiting set the bar high and helped David Shaw walk in to a great situation."
To quickly fill out Michigan's class, Harbaugh and whatever staff he would subsequently assemble would need to canvas the entire country. But there is little doubt he would go back to the coast that treated him so well the last time he was in the college game.
"Harbaugh will most definitely recruit the West Coast," Huffman said. "He obviously did that while he was at Stanford, but also recruited nationally because Stanford can.
"But an interesting fact: Other than when he was a volunteer assistant with his father at Western Kentucky (when he was playing in the NFL), every year he's been an assistant or head coach in football, he's done it in California, so that's where his base is, that's where he knows the landscape best and he won't forget it."
Some of the best players in Michigan history have been from California, including some guy named Brady. And if the next coach is Jim Harbaugh, as many Wolverine fans hope it will be, it sounds like more help will be on its way from the Golden State.
Go here for a list of Michigan's current commitments in the 2015 class.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.