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Michigan football must continue to adapt in a world of NIL

The Wolverines need more NIL support to fuel their recruiting efforts.



© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

As many Michigan football fans know by now, the Wolverines’ recent recruiting efforts have not been as effective as we have seen in the past. For Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan, much blame can be pinned on a lack of NIL funding. However, the effort is still being put into maintaining Michigan as a football superpower.

Michigan football has NIL, but more is needed

Right now, Michigan football does have plenty of NIL support; in fact, the Wolverines have a few go-to collectives, such as Valiant. Still, Michigan football needs help regarding NIL funding and support.

Over the past two days, the Wolverines have lost out on two big-name prospects — one from the portal and one from the 2023 freshman class. This is nothing new for Michigan football as of late, and rumors have it that much of Michigan’s struggles stem from being behind in NIL support.

The infrastructure is there to support large-scale NIL in Ann Arbor; however, there appear to be some around the athletic department that are hesitant to endorse NIL.

The Wolverines should change their recruiting approach

Over the past two years — as NIL support has taken over the world of college football — Jim Habraugh has stuck to his guns on the subject. Over the past offseason, Harbaugh claimed that he wanted Michigan football to be a “transitional” experience instead of a “transactional” one.

When Harbaugh first said this, many fans embraced his mentality; after all, college football is long said to be more about developing one’s character than making money. That said, times have changed, and it is getting harder to stick to the selling point of “education and development.”

If a five-star recruit can make millions at Ohio State or Georgia, they will pick one of those schools over Michigan football any day of the week — plenty of schools put players in the NFL, and most of them would like to make some money along the way.

I am not saying that Harbaugh and his program need to turn into the second coming of Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M; however, it would be nice to see increased NIL efforts that allow Michigan football to land more blue-chip prospects on the recruiting trail.

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