The annual rumor if Jim Harbaugh returned to NFL hit his fourth year in a row this month.
And for the fourth straight year Harbaugh shot it all down.
Michigan football s head coach, spoke with ESPN Adam Schefter on Sunday, denied denied speculation as he tries to leave U-m for NFL. He took it one step further and claimed that anyone who says he intends to leave does it with a recruitment agenda in mind.
"This is a choreographed message coming up at this time each year before the signing date," said Harbaugh Schefter. "People are spreading messages to further develop their own personal agenda, but I'm on record here, right now: I'm not going anywhere. I live in Michigan. We have big plans here and there's a lot we want to achieve. "
Harbaugh's name has been floating around the Internet in a speculative fashion for weeks now, most recently by Fox analyst and former Ohio state recipient Cris Carter.
Michigan sports director Warde Manuel called these claims baseless earlier this week.
This weekend Harbaugh gave his contribution to Schefter. "I can not be more clear about him – it's not true," said Harbaugh. "I'm going nowhere."
Harbaugh has treated this kind of speculation almost from the day he took over in Michigan at the end of 2014, coming to Ann Arbor after four years with the San Francisco 49ers.
He has routinely declared any speculation about his possible return to NFL as nothing but an attempt by "our enemies" to hurt Michigan recruitment.
Wolverines, meanwhile, lost 5-star security Daxton Hill to Alabama on Saturday night. Hill did not explain why he was angry from U-M to Alabama, so it is not clear if the NFL speculation is related.
However, Harbaugh considered it necessary to re-speak this topic again.
More about recruitment: Michigan in good location; Ohio State Bugaboo Continues
The early signing period begins 19 December.
Harbaugh completes the fourth year of his first seven-year contract in Michigan. With additional compensation from a life insurance, he makes at least $ 7 million a year as Wolverine's head coach.
He is now 38-13 in total, 26-9 in Big Ten play and Wolverines will play in a new year's six bowl (Peach Bowl) for the second time in three years on December 29 against Florida in Atlanta.
"It's like heated oatmeal," Harbaugh said in December of December about the constant NFL speculation. "I can not compare it to anything else. When it's rehashed or heated, it's not good anymore. Oatmeal, that's the first thing to think about."
"I'm not a big fan of heated oatmeal."
This season became the program's first coach since Fielding H. Yost to record double-digit wins for three of his first four years. But he still has not won a Big Ten championship and remains 0-4 against the rival Ohio state.
Wolverines (10-2) and Gators (9-3) kickoff at noon on December 29 (ESPN).
Contact Nick Baumgardner: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @NickBaumgardner.