Jim Harbaugh will be a force in college football again soon. Remember that satellite camp in Alabama? That was just the public display of his all-out recruiting efforts. He’s working harder than that behind the scenes.
Harbaugh has seemingly come out of nowhere to convince the nation’s No. 1 athlete from Elberton to take an official visit to Ann Arbor, Mich. Yet Mecole Hardman, Jr. is not the only big-time UGA target that Harbaugh is zeroed in on.
He set his sights on two major UGA targets at tight end. He went after Rabun County’s Charlie Woerner. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder can play receiver or tight end in the SEC.
Woerner’s top three was always UGA, Alabama and Oregon. He never even considered Michigan. Harbaugh still sent him a letter every week (about 20 total) before he committed to UGA.
“It was incredible the number of hand-written letters he wrote to Charlie and all of us,” said Kent Woerner, his father. “All hand-written. Some were even two paragraphs long.”
The family recalls Harbaugh wrote Charlie, his father, his sister, his uncle Scott Woerner and even his girlfriend. He was always encouraging him to think about Michigan.
“He finally found out Charlie likes to fish a lot and said they had great fishing in Michigan,” Kent Woerner said.
Harbaugh is going hard after former Buford standout Isaac Nauta. Nauta — the nation’s No. 1 tight end — now plays for IMG Academy. UGA appears to be the school to beat for Nauta.
“Coach Harbaugh is crazy,” Nauta said. “He’s wrote me up plays and sent me edits on my phone. He sent me a picture of me sitting on a throne as like the King of Michigan football.”
Nauta will also take an official visit to Michigan.
“Coach Harbaugh is a crazy hilarious guy,” Nauta said. “I remember one time I was watching a Michigan basketball game on TV and saw him sitting on the sidelines next to their coach. So I called him up and told him he looked great on TV and I could see him on TV talking on the phone and laughing and he was talking to me. He’s real down-to-earth and will answer your call if he’s on the sideline of a game or with his family. He’s a guy you just enjoy being around.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.