The Marty Smith Podcast: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson on How Coach Jim Harbaugh Is ‘Built for Football’

by Chris Haney
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In this week’s brand new episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson joined the show to talk about his collegiate career and his experiences leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. Hutchinson is widely thought to be one of the top players available in tonight’s draft. In fact, the Heisman Trophy runner-up potentially might be the No. 1 overall pick later this evening.

Standing 6’6″ and weighing in at 265 pounds, Aidan Hutchinson is a beast on the defensive line. He was a unanimous All-American, made the First-Team All-Big Ten, and won the Nagurski–Woodson Defensive Player of the Year this past season. Yet it all started on the practice field, in the weight room, and in the film room.

The coaching staff, headed by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh helped prepare Hutchinson and his teammates each and every week. Harbaugh is a fiery competitor, to say the least. He’s well-known for his passion on and off the gridiron for football, which he passes on to his players.

Host Marty Smith wanted to know “what it’s like to be in [Harbaugh’s] arena on a daily basis.” Smith immediately followed that up by asking Hutchinson what it is about the head coach that gets his players to respond the way they do. According to the Michigan star, Coach Harbaugh is made for football.

“I think Coach Harbaugh is so wired for football. I think he is built for football,” Aidan Hutchinson responded to Marty Smith’s questions about his coach. “He loves the game so much and he’s so competitive in that aspect. Obviously, playing for 15 years and now being a coach for as long as he’s been a coach. I mean he loves the game and he is wired for it.”

Aidan Hutchinson Tells Marty Smith How Coach Harbaugh ‘Gets the Most’ Out of His Players

Host Marty Smith knows Jim Harbaugh from the ESPN journalist’s time covering the coach’s teams through the years. Smith knows Harbaugh’s personality and his all-consuming love for football well.

However, the host wanted to know more about what makes Harbaugh tick and why his players always buy in to his program. Aidan Hutchinson also shared that his head coach truly cares about his players and wants to see them succeed. Whether that’s reaching their full potential on or off the field, Harbaugh pushes his players to bring out the best in them. That’s not always easy, but it pays off in spades, according to Hutchinson.

“He really does care for his players,” Aidan Hutchinson said on The Marty Smith Podcast. “Let me put this the right way – he isn’t the most vocal about it. But you can tell he does really care. How he really structures his schedules and how he runs the whole building is for us and to put us in the best position to succeed. Practices – they aren’t very easy. Stuff isn’t too easy at Michigan. He doesn’t make it that way. But the reason he does that is to get the most out of us. And although it may not be too much fun, it does pay dividends in the long run.”

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