Even though Harbaugh is still a few days away from speaking himself, you can hear him as players answer questions, reverting to Harbaugh’s mantras like

they’re reading from a script authored by their head coach. They’re not talking points as much as they are a result of Harbaugh’s deep influence, which has permeated this Wolverines team.

You can see it too when every question about him — his quirks, character and coaching style — produces a response preceded by a smile or a full laugh, an acknowledgment of his peculiar nature, but always backed by a full endorsement.

“I love Coach and his unique personality,” edge rusher Jaylen Harrell said. “He’s a different guy, a different animal.”

They say a team often takes on the personality of its head coach, and it doesn’t take much to see how Michigan has done just that. To call Harbaugh’s personality unique would not only be an understatement, but also a disservice to how much his approach has shaped his career.

At nearly every stop, Harbaugh hasn’t just won but thrived by creating a tight-knit environment where the narrative — and its protagonists and antagonists — has been clear. The “us against the world” mentality is a coaching trope, but for Harbaugh, it’s an inextricable part of his journey as he’s gone from Stanford to the NFL and now Ann Arbor.

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