Report: Jim Harbaugh Told 5-Star Michigan Recruit He'd 'Probably' Take NFL Job Offer

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 2, 2022

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 31: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on before the game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Will Johnson, a 5-star cornerback in the class of 2022 who has signed with the Michigan Wolverines, was reportedly told by Jim Harbaugh that the head coach would probably take an NFL job if the right opportunity was offered.

"He told William he was definitely looking and if an opportunity came up, he was probably going to take it," Johnson's father, Deon, told Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News (h/t Paul Harvey of Saturday Tradition). "(Harbaugh) told him he felt the team was gonna be good, they're gonna win a lot of ballgames, they're gonna do a lot of good things. But he wants to chase a Super Bowl. That's one of the things on his list is to be a Super Bowl-winning coach."

angelique @chengelis

“The talks have come up, ‘What do you think I should do if he leaves?’” -- Deon Johnson on son Will Johnson, MIchigan five star early enrollee <a href="https://t.co/QLgh54yXjv">https://t.co/QLgh54yXjv</a>

That follows reports on Tuesday that Harbaugh was interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, which just so happens to be national signing day in college football:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

The Vikings finished up a 9-hour interview with Giants DC Patrick Graham, with Graham meeting with people throughout the organization. As we said before, he and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have a very solid relationship.<br><br>Jim Harbaugh is scheduled to visit the Vikings tomorrow.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Next up: Jim Harbaugh, who heads to Minnesota with confidence that he’ll land the job. Time will tell. <a href="https://t.co/Eni6jKQAfk">https://t.co/Eni6jKQAfk</a>

While much of Michigan's work on this year's recruiting trail is done—the Wolverines have the No. 8 recruiting class in 2022, per 247Sports.com's composite rankings—it's hard to imagine a coach fully committed to returning to the school taking an NFL interview on national signing day.

And Chris Balas of Wolverine.com reported Tuesday that Harbaugh is traveling to Minnesota and is "planning to sign a deal to become the NFL Vikings' head coach" and that the interview is merely a "formality."

He added: "Harbaugh was not in his office at Schembechler Hall this afternoon. Other sources told TheWolverine.com that while he didn't address the team, he did say some 'goodbyes' and 'thank-yous' yesterday."

Harbaugh, however, has not publicly acknowledged his interview with the Vikings.

"I'm not confirming anything or denying anything,” he told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Per Tomasson, Harbaugh is one of four finalists for the position, joining Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

Harbaugh, 58, played 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback (1987-2000) and served as the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders (2002-2003) and head coach of the San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014). Under his watch, the Niners went 44-19-1, reached the playoffs three times and the Super Bowl in the 2012 season.

He took over the Michigan gig in 2015 and has gone 61-24 with the Wolverines, winning his first Big Ten title this past season. But it would appear the NFL itch remains.