Three decades after playing in the game, Jim Harbaugh is being forever immortalized by the preeminent college football all-star game.
The Senior Bowl announced Thursday that Harbaugh is one of three players to be inducted into the game’s 29th Hall of Fame class. The Michigan head coach will be joined in this year’s class by former Ball State Cardinal and NFL safety Blaine Bishop and former Arizona Wildcat and NFL linebacker Lance Briggs.
Harbaugh played in the 1987 version of the Senior Bowl before he was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears.
“Jim Harbaugh’s love of competition was displayed on the field during his playing days at Michigan and over his 15 years in the National Football League,” a statement from Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage began. “Now, he is recognized as one of the best coaches in the game, having achieved noteworthy success at both the college and professional levels.”
Both Harbaugh and Briggs spent extensive time with the Bears, the former for seven years (1987-93) and the latter for all 12 years of his NFL career (2003-14). Bishop spent nine of his 10 years in the NFL with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1993-2001). He finished off his time in the NFL in 2002 with the Philadelphia Eagles.
That trio pushes the total number of Senior Bowl Hall of Famers to 114. To put that into perspective, more than 5,000 players have played in the senior Bowl since its inception nearly seven decades ago.
Brandon Harris is, along with former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire, a top quarterback on the transfer market right now, and the former LSU signal caller has narrowed his next school down to three choices.
Harris has announced plans to visit North Carolina, Texas and Arizona but tacitly admitted the Heels as his leader in an interview with Fox Sports’s Bruce Feldman. While visits to Austin and Tucson are lined up, Harris said of his March 23 trip to Chapel Hill, “[I]f North Carolina blows me away I’ll go to North Carolina.”
Harris is set to graduate from LSU this summer and, as such, would be immediately eligible to play for UNC. The Heels have a vacancy with Mitch Trubisky‘s graduation.
“I like the coach (Larry Fedora) and the coordinator and the situation. They’ve had some great quarterbacks back to back,” Harris said. “If I go there, I know I have the opportunity to win now. They have a winning culture. That system is friendly — and I know that quarterbacks have had great success in that system. I feel like it’s a good fit for me to go in there and compete.”
In addition to the listed contenders, Harris also told Feldman he heard from two SEC schools that would have liked him to visit.
North Carolina’s in the running for one SEC graduate transfer after already reeling in another from the same conference. In the meantime, the ACC school has landed a similar transfer from that same league.
Cameron Dillard confirmed to 247Sports.com‘s Ryan Bartow that he has decided to transfer to North Carolina. The offensive lineman, who had narrowed his choices down to UNC and Arizona, made the move to transfer from Florida earlier this offseason.
As a graduate transfer, Dillard, who is married, will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Tar Heels.
“I thought about things and it worked out,” Dillard said about his decision. “UNC has a really good plan for me. They’ve sent four offensive linemen to the NFL in the last four years. Everything worked out.”
During his time in Gainesville, Dillard had started 20 games.
In late January, running back Stanton Truitt confirmed his move from Auburn to UNC. Former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris will visit the Tar Heels later this month.
In mid-February, Brandon Harris acknowledged that he has “two final possibilities” as a transfer destination, “but one really sticks out above the other.” Nearly a month later, Harris’ field may be expanding a bit.
On his Twitter account Saturday night, Harris stated that he has his first official visit scheduled for March 24. While he didn’t state a specific school on the social media site, he subsequently confirmed to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he will be visiting North Carolina that weekend.
The Tar Heels were mentioned prominently as a potential landing spot in the wake of his transfer from LSU.
Harris also told the Times-Picayune that he is considering visits to Arizona and Texas as well. As a graduate transfer, Harris will be eligible to play his final season immediately in 2017.
After starting all 12 games in 2015 for the Tigers, Harris started the first two games of this past season. He lost his job to Danny Etling prior to Week 3 and never regained it.
Depending on your vantage point, this is either tremendous news when it comes to stability or another sign that the league will continue to remain stuck in neutral behind the two current conference behemoths.
According to a report from Pete Thamel of SI.com, Larry Scott has reached an agreement on a contract extension with the Pac-12. The new deal would keep Scott as the conference’s commissioner through 2022.
Scott had one year remaining on his old deal.
Thamel writes that “terms of the deal aren’t known.” According to a report from USA Today‘s Steve Berkowitz in May of last year and based on tax return filings, Scott was paid nearly $4.1 million for the 2014 calendar year, making him the highest-paid commissioner in collegiate athletics. By comparison, the Big Ten’s Jim Delany pulled in $3.1 million for the same period.
Scott’s tenure with the Pac-12 was initially marked by what was a then-record television deal with ESPN and FOX Sports in 2011. Since then, that conference has watched both the Big Ten and SEC secure new deals that earn its members anywhere from $8 million to $13 million more annually than their Pac-12 counterparts.
And then there’s the inability of the Pac-12, under Scott’s guidance, to secure a distribution agreement with DirecTV for its collection of conference networks, causing it to lag well behind the networks offered by the Big Ten and SEC.