Pete Carroll's son was a Harbaugh recruit

RENTON, Wash. -- A lot has been made about the animosity between Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, but it never extended to either man's offspring.

Harbaugh was the head coach at the University of San Diego in 2006 when he made a call to Nate Carroll, Pete's youngest son.

“He did recruit my son to go to San Diego,” Carroll said Monday. “But I wasn't there for the home visit.”

Carroll was the head coach at USC at the time. So did Pete advise his son on whether or not to play for Harbaugh?

“It didn't get that far,” Pete said smiling. “He was going to USC.”

Nate, now 26 with a degree in philosophy from USC, is an offensive assistant with the Seahawks, who face the Harbaugh-coached 49ers Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

The friction between Harbaugh and Pete Carroll happened later when Harbaugh was the coach at Stanford and ran up the score in a game against USC. Afterward, Carroll met Harbaugh on the field and asked, “What's your deal?”

But Carroll has nothing but praise now for Harbaugh's coaching skills.

“I'm not surprised Jim has done such a good job coaching,” Carroll said. “He does a really good job of utilizing the guys on his team. You can see how they adapt with their skills guys.

“Jim has great core principles. His dad [Jack] was a great football coach, as well. Jim was raised as a coach's kid and he demonstrated the savvy as a player that translated into his coaching, along with his brother, John [Baltimore Ravens head coach]. Both are great football coaches.”