Whatever you think of Jim Harbaugh, he’s one of the most recognizable names in the coaching ranks. Deion Sanders, though, is one the most recognizable names in football. Period.
Senior wide receiver Daylen Baldwin has had the unique opportunity to play for both.
“It’s not really — they’re like nowhere near the same,” Baldwin said.
Harbaugh has been coaching in some capacity since 2002 and prior to Michigan he was the head coach at Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers. He is now two games into his seventh season at Michigan. He has a career record of 109-49 in college and 49-22-1 in the NFL.
Sanders, meanwhile, is new to the coaching ranks. He wrapped up his hall of fame NFL career in 2005 and spent time as an analyst as well coaching at his son’s school. In 2020, Sanders was hired to be the head coach at Jackson State — his first head coaching role.
Baldwin has observed the contrasting styles:
“Coach Harbaugh’s gonna let you know what it is… get out your way, let coaches coach… let everything go.
“Coach Prime, he’ll yell at you from across the field. You get beat on the slant route from across the field and you’re playing corner, he’ll talk to you about it from across the field that you got beat on the slant route. That’s just how he is! He’s just a louder guy, you know what I mean? And with a reason, that’s just the side he coaches, so I enjoyed it while I was there. That’s not a knock on him or anything — that’s just who he is!”
Sanders first season as a head coach was viewed as a success by many. In the delayed spring season for FCS schools, he guided the Tigers to a 4-3 record. Baldwin played a big role in the team's success, amassing 27 catches, 540 yards and seven touchdowns throughout the campaign. This year he already has Jackson State off to a 2-0 start and his development as a head coach will be interesting to follow.
But as Baldwin warned, his intensity is not for everyone.
“He’s honest. Not everybody can take honesty,” Baldwin said. “He’s gonna give it to you real. That’s the biggest thing about him. He’s a great coach. Great staff down there. I still appreciate those guys until this day. I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at without them, honestly, bringing the attention that they brought me. But he’s gonna be honest. Not everybody can take brutal honesty like that! But he’s gonna be very honest with you. He’s gonna give it to you real and I appreciate that. I liked it and I enjoyed him as a coach.”
Baldwin thanked Sanders and the Jackson State coaching staff for putting him in a position to earn an opportunity at Michigan. Now playing for the Wolverines, he’ll hope to continue to build on his success — even under Harbaugh’s more hands off approach.