Harbaugh plans sleepover with top-ranked kicker

Angelique S. Chengelis and James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will attend the president’s final State of the Union on Tuesday night with his wife and at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, he will be sleeping over at the home of a recruit.

The dead period in recruiting ends on Wednesday with contact reopening Thursday between college coaches and recruits. Hence the reason why Harbaugh intends an early — or late, depending on how you look at it — push for Rockford’s Quinn Nordin, the nation’s top-ranked kicker who happens to be a Penn State commit.

Allen Trieu, Scout’s Midwest football recruiting manager and a Detroit News contributor, first broke the story Tuesday.

“Under the exact rules, he’s going to be at my house at 12:01 he said,” Nordin told Trieu. “That’s when it’s legal for him to be at my house. He said we can watch a movie, see how well we gel and he said he would sleep over after that.”

In a phone interview with the News on Tuesday, Nordin confirmed that Harbaugh will be staying the night at his house.

“(Harbaugh) had one of the recruiting coordinators give me a call and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ It was the craziest thing I heard in my life, I was laughing so hard. It's absurd if you think about it,” Nordin said. “But it's recruiting and that's the only way you can put it. I said, “Coach, this is awesome. Let’s have a sleepover.’

“I've never heard of any coach doing anything like this at all.”

Nordin added he never thought that Harbaugh was joking, either.

“Coach Harbaugh’s word is his bond and he won’t lie to a soul,” Nordin said. “I said, ‘That’s hilarious, coach.’ He said, ‘No, we're actually sleeping over.'”

Needless to say, Nordin wasn't the only one to get a kick out of Harbaugh’s plan.

“My parents think it’s funny,” Nordin said. “You gotta have fun with it, you can't take everything for granted. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Some of this stuff, you never think it's going to happen in a million years, but I'm rolling with it. I'll be able to tell my friends and kids that I had a sleepover with Coach Harbaugh.”

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Nordin committed to Penn State last July and made the announcement via a snazzy music video produced by a high school friend. Harbaugh is trying to flip Nordin’s commitment. The national signing period begins Feb. 3.

“He told me if I had a 6-foot-3-inch piece of carpet for him to sleep on, that would be enough,” Nordin told Scout. “I said we have guest rooms, and he said, ‘Tell you what, I’ll just sleep on the floor in your room.’ I said, ‘Coach, I have Penn State stuff all over my walls.’ “he said, ‘Tell you what, I can help you take it down.’”

Writers: UM a title contender in '16; losses hurt MSU

Prior to his commitment, Nordin said he was “really thinking about” going to Michigan when he was being recruited by former UM special teams coordinator John Baxter, who left for USC on Jan. 7.

“When (Baxter) left, I was kind of like I don’t need to look at any other schools. But Harbaugh said he’s the only one recruiting me now and will do everything that is necessary to get me,” Nordin said. “We’ve been talking off and on all the time and meshing on Twitter. I don’t know him very well, but I know he cares about his players and gets best out of them. I respect him 100 percent.

“But I'm committed to Penn State. It’s a great school, and I love the coaches. They have my back ... It’ll be extremely hard to swing me away.”

Nonetheless, Nordin said he's going to take Harbaugh's visit seriously.

“I think my parents are OK with me missing school since I'm carrying a 3.7 GPA,” Nordin said. “We’ll eat breakfast, stop by my high school to introduce him to a couple teachers and then drive down to Ann Arbor for the day.”

Nordin will be taking his official visit to Michigan this weekend and will visit Baylor and Penn State the following weekends.