With all of the hullabaloo surrounding college football recruiting, satellite camps, and coach-player relationships, it’s easy to lose sight of the many ways football helps shape the lives of the young men who don’t end up playing for major programs and pursuing an NFL career. For every kid who shows up at a camp and ends up getting offered a scholarship to play for their favorite college football team, there are scores who walk away without an offer or even the hope of one. But that doesn’t mean they walk away empty-handed.

Wednesday, Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh shared a letter he received from one such athlete.

Hunter Hays grew up in Alabama but was a Michigan fan because of his father. When the school recently held a satellite camp nearby, Hays attended with the hope of possibly putting on the maize and blue. While that didn’t happen, he did meet Kyle Skierski, head football coach at Division III Birmingham Southern College. Two years later, after Hays completed a successful high school career as a long snapper and center, he was offered a scholarship to play for BSC where he’ll be studying pre-medicine biology while also playing football.

“Thank you for providing players like me the opportunity to play in front of multiple colleges at once. For players like me who attend small high schools and are not high profile prospects, it can be a struggle to get found by smaller institutions due to a lack of funding and connections.”

Hays added that his uncle, an alum of UM, has given him his tickets for this year’s Michigan-Ohio State game and he’ll be there hoping to shake the head coach’s hand. We’re guessing Harbaugh makes sure Hays gets some special treatment. In fact, it sounds like he’s already touched base about it.

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Neighborhoods.com, Curbed Seattle and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.