Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited, but I suppose this also means my dream of seeing Gelen Robinson in maize and blue is dead?
Hello: Lawrence Marshall
Southfield (MI) DE/LB Lawrence Marshall, a former Ohio State commit and presumed Michigan State lock, has committed to... Michigan, of course, per fellow commit Michael Ferns and confirmed by the various recruiting outlets. Marshall was on campus today with Ferns and receiver commit Moe Ways, a long-time AAU teammate of Marshall's who's been recruiting him hard lately.
Marshall was expected to make a decision soon, but the choice wasn't supposed to be Michigan—according to 247, he's visited East Lansing eight (eight!) times since the beginning on February, and all six of the 247 experts to weigh in predicted he'd choose Michigan State.
Where's the threat? Oh, it's right here, and it's devouring us alive.
4*, #12 DE,
|3*, #19 WDE||
4*, 83, #12 DE,
4*, 91, #12 WDE,
As you'll see in the scouting section, Marshall is a relatively raw prospect with plenty of upside, so it's not surprising to see a major outlier in his rankings prior to his senior season; while the other three services have Marshall safely within their top lists, Rivals pegs him as a three-star ranked three spots below the last WDE four-star (Gelen Robinson, incidentally). His listed measurables range from 6'3", 215 lbs. to 6'4", 230—based on recent camp reports, the latter figure is probably more accurate.
With the rankings for Marshall largely based on his potential, his senior season and future camp performances could spur plenty of movement in either direction.
Allen Trieu's free report on Marshall's Scout profile is a good place to start—his listed strengths are athleticism, backside pursuit, and lateral range, with "techniques and moves" as his area for improvement:
Very long frame. Has great athleticism, change of direction and speed in pursuit. Has all of the tools to be an elite pass rusher, just needs continued work on his technique. Plays with hand down in high school, but may be a stand-up rusher in college. Has not been asked to drop into coverage much, but that's something he may be asked to do at the next level. Has to add some weight, but all of the raw tools are there. - Allen Trieu
I believe Marshall is more likely to end up at weakside DE—playing with his hand down—than standing up at outside linebacker, so this note from Trieu after an Adidas camp in March brings up an important point ($):
He's very long and athletic. He needs to still get stronger. Big, physical offensive linemen had success when they got their hands on him, but his feet and quickness are very impressive.
Until Marshall adds the requisite size and technique, he'll have a tough go against big offensive linemen. In college, that's every offensive lineman.
His athleticism, however, makes him a tantalizing prospect as an edge rusher. Steve Lorenz named him one of the top performers at the first HYPE Showcase in Canton, citing his size/speed combo as the primary reason, a couple weeks ago:
DE Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, MI/Southfield): Marshall was the headliner and for the most part performed as such. He continues to build himself up and has become a potentially lethal combination of size and speed. He still can occasionally struggle against bigger defenders a bit, but still usually gets to the tackling dummy without much of an issue.
And at the aforementioned Adidas camp Marshall even took a couple reps on offense... at wide receiver:
Southfield (Mich.) High Top247 defensive end Lawrence Marshall took a few reps at defensive end before moving over and showing his athleticism at receiver. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Marshall was rocked up and continues to add size each time we see him.
The fact that Marshall is consistently adding size is, of course, also a major positive at this point. In fact, according to a report from Rivals' Josh Helmholdt during Marshall's junior season, while Marshall needs to add size his strength may actually be a positive ($) [emphasis mine]:
DE Lawrence Marshall, Southfield, Mich. (2014):: The last few weeks have been especially fruitful for Marshall. Although his team made a second-round exit from the Michigan high school state playoffs, a wave of new scholarship offers has helped assuage the agony of defeat. Among the most recent to offer are Big Ten programs Indiana and Michigan State, and the appeal of Marshall is evident on junior film. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Marshall still has a lean frame, but he does not have issues with strength at the point of attack. He does a great job creating upfield momentum, which all starts with his explosive first step. Marshall comes off the line hard and low, and puts an exclamation point on his sacks by being a heavy hitter.
That was five months and 20-or-so pounds ago. If Marshall continues to get bigger, as is expected, I don't think there will be much question about him playing on the line when he gets to campus. His athletic ability gives him much more potential if he's playing defensive end—where it's harder to find such an athlete that can also hold the point of attack—than if he's thrown into Michigan's deep pool of linebackers.
Marshall also held offers from Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Pitt, Syracuse, and Tennessee, among several others.
Southfield High School (Class A, Division 2) has been an above-average program for the last several years but hasn't had a lot of success in the state playoffs—last year, they fell to Oak Park in the second round. Marshall is the highest-ranked prospect the school has produced in the Rivals era—and that's going by his three-star Rivals ranking. Other notable prospects include 2012 TE Ron Thompson, who chose Syracuse over Michigan, and 2012 Cincinnati cornerback signee LEVITICUS PAYNE.
According to 247, Marshall recorded 79 tackles, 15 sacks, and four interceptions during his junior season.
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the sites list a FAKE (or real) 40 time.
Marshall's tape very much falls in line with the scouting reports. He's got a great burst off the line and gets to the football in a hurry; he's also hardly touched on a good number of these plays and needs work on technique—when he gets to Michigan, he won't be able to simply run right past offensive linemen.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
In case it hasn't been made abundantly clear, Marshall is a high-ceiling, boom-or-bust recruit. The potential is there for him to be a highly impactful edge rusher, but first he must add weight and refine his technique. [Insert praise of Michigan's D-line coaching here.]
It's possible that Marshall ends up at strongside linebacker, though I like him a lot more as a weakside end. Still, he has some positional flexibility and at the very least should turn himself into a situational pass-rusher. This comparison has been made elsewhere, but his size/speed combo and raw potential are very reminiscent of Frank Clark, this year's presumed starter at weakside end. Unlike Clark, Marshall should have a couple years of seasoning before he needs to see the field with Mario Ojemudia and Taco Charlton in the two classes ahead of him. From there, it's all about maintaining his athleticism while adding bulk and refining his technique—if he can do that, he's got double-digit sack potential.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
I covered Michigan's defensive line situation in great detail yesterday; the short version is they'll happily take Marshall, Malik McDowell, and Da'Shawn Hand should the latter two also decide on the Wolverines. That would give Michigan one complete line in the 2014 class with Marshall (WDE), McDowell (3-tech/SDE), Bryan Mone (NT/3-tech), and Hand (SDE/WDE). This is by no means guaranteed to happen, but at this point it's difficult to not at least consider it a definite—and pretty damn awesome—possibility. Even if Michigan misses out on Hand, that's a heck of a D-line haul if they can keep McDowell in-state, which at this point is the expectation.
As for the class as a whole, Michigan now has nine commits (not including grayshirt Brady Pallante) in the 2014 class, which currently has room for 14 players but should end up closer to 20 when all is said and done. We know the Wolverines will take one more linebacker—probably either Chase Winovich or Kyron Watson—and probably a third offensive lineman, and spots will be held open for McDowell and Hand. Other priorities include a third receiver and, say, an elite defensive back (ahem).
STAT OF THE DAY
Percentage of ESPN 150 commits to total commits: Michigan: 88%, LSU: 50%, Florida: 44%, FSU: 44%, TAM: 30%, Tenn: 16%, Texas: 14%
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) May 11, 2013
I've said this elsewhere, but I don't think Robinson was ever under serious consideration. He's 6'2", 230 pounds, and plays more like a strongside end than a weakside end. Given Marshall is the more explosive athlete and has a longer frame, he's a much better fit for what the coaches want—they're building a really big D-line, and Marshall could end up packing on the pounds like Frank Clark did. I'm not sure Robinson could do that and still be effective.
I mostly agree on the size thing, but I disagree on the explosiveness aspect and the projection for their positions. I think Robinson is a more explosive player, hits like a ton of bricks (or at least 230 lbs. of them), and projects well to the WDE spot. The difference between him and Marshall is the wingspan/bulk, which can't be helped much.
Who do you think is the better option for UM with the defense that Mattison wants to run Robinson or Marshall?
Thanks for writing, esp. if you're having to repeat something you wrote elsewhere and I missed.
This makes me a sad panda, though. :(
I think GR IV is going to do some wonderful things for someone. Just wish it were us.
The one site that is relatively low on Marshall, Rivals, has him at 205 lbs. That probably means that he was a completely different dude when they rated and ranked him. Assuming that he carries the extra weight well, I could see him moving up when Rivals revises its rankings. (Then again, he could always move down on the other sites.)
I will go watch this upstanding young man wreck some high school kids
...this upstanding young man wreck some BIG QBs for a few after that.
Marshall Law has been declared.
"Marshall Law" . . . sweeeeet. When "Death Roh" is not quite enough.
I'd gladly buy you a beers at mr joe's on 12 and then go to a game.
...might as well get some of their burgers and onion rings too.
1 LB, 2 DL, 2DB? is there any way to free up some more spots. It seems like we were in good shape of landing the 2 stud WRs out of Florida. (Scott and the other slips my mind)
There is no way in h*ll that the class will only have 14 signees in it. No way. Expect 18-20. As far as the Florida WR's (Scott and Holmes, I would guess)...don't hold your breath.
I'm still hoping Cole can convince Scott to join him. We've made up a lot of ground recently, but will it be enough?
Most seem to think we're still looking for something like 1 RB, 1 OL, 1-2 WR, 1-2 DL, 1 LB, and about 3 DBs.
This certainly was unexpected. Marshall is gonna be a great player for Michigan!
Just an observation/wonderment: Anyone else find it odd that a guy who supposedly had 4 INT's (while playing on the DL, no less) didn't include one on his highlight reel? Weird.
I didn't think about that, but that's a great point lol
It is great to have you here. Now, hit the weight room and don't come out until you are a monster.
Is it too late for Sparty to join the west division?
but there gotta be some excellent schadenfreude over on the MSU boards right now.
It's realy not that bad - nothing out of the ordinary. They are accusing us of negative recruiting, paying our players, Brady Hoke is a fat slob, something is in the water, yada, yada, yada - everything you'd expect from them.
A typical Spartan Saturday - feeling bad about their lives and crying into their bottles of Faygo.
On a brighter note - welcome to the family Mr Marshall. It is always good to grab a great talent from within the state. You will have a very successful time in AA.
Uh, isn't our WR coach (Hecklinski) also our recruiting coordinator?
Singletary's position is what they are referring to there. He frankly makes the most of the early contact before the other coaches getting involved. He gages interest, sends literature, sets up unofficials, etc.
We also have a Director of Player Personnel, Chris Singletary, which is probably what Hondo is talking about MSU not having. Singletary's bio starts "Former Wolverine linebacker Chris Singletary is in his sixth season as the recruiting coordinator with the Michigan football program. He handles all of the team's recruiting efforts, both on-campus and out in the community."
Was Gabe Watson not in, "The Rivals era?" I thought he had a high ranking?
Yes, he was. He graduated in 2002:
So Marshall is 2nd highest ranked player from Southfield High in the Rivals era? To Watson?
Yeah, that's partially my fault and partially Rivals'. If you look at Watson's recruiting profile, they list him as being from Southfield but left the data field blank for his high school, so he didn't show up in my database search. So Marshall is the second-highest ranked Southfield High player and the highest since Watson in 2002.
says our recruiting coordinator is former LB Chris Singletary
Singletary is the Director of Player Personnel:
Hecklinski is the recruiting coordinator:
This is great LM says screw BLOsu and Sparty, welcome to the Maize and Blue family!!
Sweet tears: priceless.
"They are cheating. Color me shocked. The return to the good ol Ed Martin days at U of Money. "
"Shane Morris tweeted him saying " remember our talk" a week or so ago. Could tell right away some shady shit was going on."
"The NCAA and the media are both complicit in UM's hype machine. What can a school like Michigan State do? Not much."
Shane Morris tweeted him saying " remember our talk" a week or so ago. Could tell right away some shady shit was going on.
They could try winning consistently!
Need to beat those bastards in East Lansing this year or they will keep running their mouths.
I love the Spartys that have signatures mocking our loss to Louisville. A game they didn't even make it to.
A gift for torching upholstery!
I couldn't stomach all those pages, but I did pick up on two instances of some moran using "minus well" instead of "might as well". Good stuff there at RCMB.
At least when you make fun of Sparty, spell "moron" correctly.
"What can a school like Michigan State do? Not much."
That's not true. When selling MSU the coaching can point to their superior athletic tradition.....no wait.....they can point to their decade-long dominance in the rivalry....no damn....ok they can show the recruit their superior facilities......ok forget that.....they can lean on their academic standing....no........ok how about the coaching staff itself?.....nevermind.
Hell....i would seriously hate to have recruit for MSU.
Well on the plus side they still maintain their rivalry with Indiana so they have that major selling point. Not to mention getting to play Michigan and OSU every year to boot.
Professor Dantonio says: Spartans are from Sparta