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Harbaugh, Taggart host more than 300 campers

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (1) spent three hours Saturday morning working a USF camp with Bulls coach Willie Taggart.

JOEY KNIGHT | Times

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (1) spent three hours Saturday morning working a USF camp with Bulls coach Willie Taggart.

He arrived on the Morsani Complex practice fields on a searing Saturday morning in his trademark khaki pants, a Michigan hat and green No. 1 USF jersey that fit him tightly.

The name stitched across the back of Jim Harbaugh's snug jersey: TAGGART.

Expect any other name? Bulls coach Willie Taggart would've given Harbaugh -- his friend and former boss -- the shirt off his back long ago. No surprise then, Taggart stood up for the polarizing Wolverines coach, whose international satellite-camp tour has created friction among more than a few peers.

"Everyone that talks about (satellite camps), I'm still trying to find a negative," Taggart said after he and Harbaugh hosted more than 300 at their camp Saturday.

"The only thing you keep hearing is someone coming in your territory. What are we talking about? This is America. And everybody recruits down here anyway, so you get upset for a guy to come in for three hours to work? That's not gonna do anything. You've still got to work."

Harbaugh's dizzying camp tour has been criticized by, among others, Alabama's Nick Saban, though coaches from both the Crimson Tide and Wolverines reportedly will attend a pair of camps together later this weekend. Saban particularly pointed out unregulated camps run by third parties, questioning where the camp revenue's going.

Harbaugh was whisked away immediately after Saturday's camp and didn't speak to reporters, but Taggart said he hasn't been to camps run by third parties.

"We've only done our satellite camps. Again, if you just go by the rules, you should be fine," Taggart said.

"You've got to coach; you're not supposed to evaluating. I think some of these guys that have got problems, they're the ones going to these camps evaluating. They're not out working and teaching, and that's what it's all about.

"You just think about our game of football and how it's been attacked. I mean, for us as coaches, this is probably one of the best ways that we can give back and help and teach these young people how to play the game the right way."

The USF camp -- heavy on sprints, agility work, pass drills in man coverage and technique tutelage -- was at least Harbaugh's third in two days. He is set to attend one run by Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, then another in Baltimore on Monday.
  
"He's a hard worker all the time," Taggart said.

"You watch, he's not out here sitting back, twiddling his thumbs or anything. He's actually working these camps. That's the difference between him and some of these other guys. Some of these other guys can't do that, some of these other guys don't want to do that.

"Again, he's doing nothing wrong. Everything he's doing is to benefit the kids."

[Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2016 1:55pm]

    

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