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New Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh admits he was 'starstruck' meeting QB Justin Herbert

Jim Harbaugh has yet to be officially introduced as the Chargers' new head coach, but he offered a bit of a preview of how that press conference might go when he appeared on the NFL on CBS pregame show Sunday.

In short: He's smitten with his new opportunity -- and his new quarterback.

"I have met [Justin Herbert]," Harbaugh said ahead of the AFC Championship Game in Baltimore, via the team’s official site. "I met him and Derwin James, pro's pros these guys, Keenan Allen.

"But I was a little starstruck meeting Justin."

Harbaugh left the University of Michigan as a national title-winning coach, departing only after earning his place on college football's mountaintop in his ninth season leading his alma mater. Many of his key players, including quarterback J.J. McCarthy, will soon follow him to the NFL, where Harbaugh has kept his wandering eye trained in each of the last few offseasons.

This time around, he finally found the right fit to convince him to jump back into the professional game, a place to which he always wanted to return at some point.

"I love Michigan, but I love the NFL, too," the coach explained. "There's no Lombardi Trophy in college football.

"I got so many sands left in the hourglass and I want to take a crack at that," he continued. "There's nowhere better to do it than with the Los Angeles Chargers. Susie Spanos, Dean Spanos, Ed McGuire, John Spanos and this great quarterback."

Being a former standout signal-caller at Michigan and a 14-year veteran of the NFL, Harbaugh knows a good quarterback when he sees one. And he's about to coach one of the brightest young talents in today's game in Herbert, who could use a coach who understands the rigors of playing the most important position in sports, especially after a difficult 2023 season that saw Herbert struggle at times and say goodbye to his former coach, Brandon Staley, during the campaign.

Harbaugh has yet to make his official opening statement to Chargers fans, but the expectation has already been set by his hiring. As a former winner of the NFC during his time with the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh is no rookie. The Chargers are hoping he'll lead them to similar success before long -- you know, once he moves past his entrancement with his new quarterback.

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