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Why is Chris Partridge so important for Michigan recruiting?

Michigan has a familiar face returning to Ann Arbor. He will be essential for the Wolverines’ recruiting going forward.



Apr 13, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines special teams coordinator Chris Partridge looks on during the spring football game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Michigan football reunited with an original member of Jim Harbaugh’s first coaching staff. Chris Partridge, who left the Wolverines for Ole Miss after a 9-4 season in 2019, will be returning to the Michigan sideline as a defensive assistant coach. 

Partridge spent five years on Jim Harbaugh’s initial Michigan football staff — he coached the Wolverines from 2015-2019 before taking the same position with Ole Miss in 2020. In 2022 Partridge became the Rebels’ defensive play-caller, though he was not up to par, and is now returning to Ann Arbor.

While Partridge is a great defensive mind, he is also an incredible recruiter. During his initial five-year run with the Wolverines, Partridge helped haul in some of Michigan’s biggest recruits — some of which turned into 1st-round NFL Draft picks when all was said and done. Some of the most notable names that Partridge recruited include:

    • Rashan Gary (Five-star)
    • Daxton Hill (Five-star)
    • Christopher Hinton (Five-star)
    • Aubrey Solomon (Five-star)
    • Cesar Ruiz (Five-star)

Partridge brings a great deal of recruiting connections back to the Michigan staff, especially after spending three seasons in the heart of SEC territory. He also brings well-established relationships on the east coast (New Jersey) and in parts of Florida — two significant pipelines for Michigan football recruiting.

The Chris Partridge hire makes a lot of sense for the Wolverines in general, but when it comes to recruiting, Partridge is a massive addition to Jim Harbaugh’s staff. Michigan’s 2024 class already ranks in the top 10 with six commits (five four-star commits) and should continue to improve as time goes on. Only time will tell, but the Wolverines’ recruiting efforts appear to be on an upward trend.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.