Barkeep does his part to turn kicker Nordin blue

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has an ally at the Rockford Corner Bar as he continues to woo the nation’s top-ranked kicker, Quinn Nordin, to flip his commitment from Penn State to the Wolverines.

Harbaugh was on the west side of the state in Rockford earlier today visiting Nordin and then headed to Rockford High with him. Harbaugh was greeted by a large, trolling sign from Spartan fans in Nordin’s neighborhood, welcoming him while also including the score from the most recent UM-MSU game.  On Twitter, Harbaugh shared a picture of the sign and his message: “I Respect the preparation! #GoBlue!”

Jeff Wolfe, owner of the Rockford Corner Bar, which was established in 1935 and is the home of the “Hot Dog Hall of Fame,” decided to offer a recruiting assist on Friday.

MSU fans welcome Harbaugh on visit to recruit

He currently has two maize-and-blue messages directed at Quinn featuring the hashtag Wolfe created — “#KeepQuinnInMI” — on the digital billboard he uses for marketing.

“If (Harbaugh) gets Quinn to flip, I’ll call it a group effort, and I’m part of the effort,” Wolfe said, laughing. “It’s been received well.

“When I first read the story, I thought, ‘If we could get Harbaugh in the restaurant that would be cool.’ But then I thought this needs to be about Quinn, so we shifted it that way. We wanted it to be an experience for him so that he can look back on this and remember that, ‘When I was 18, I was on a billboard.’ It’s fun for him.”

Wolfe also had a recruiting tie-in restaurant promotion Friday. Anyone wearing UM apparel received a free hot dog. By mid-afternoon, about 100 had been given away.

“They’re still coming in,” Wolfe said. “We’ve had a lot of people wearing Michigan hats and sweatshirts.”

Rockford, which is near Grand Rapids, has a definite Michigan State bent, Wolfe said. He said it’s been tough being a Michigan fan there the last seven years as MSU has dominated the rivalry and this year reached the national championship playoffs.

He intends to keep the billboard messages for Quinn a bit longer.

“I like to keep the pressure on,” Wolfe said laughing. “We’d like to keep him in state.”