Scouting Report: Lawrence Marshall

Submitted by Magnus on May 10th, 2013 at 8:13 AM

This week's scouting report is on Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall.  Marshall is visiting Michigan this weekend, and he has narrowed down his top five schools to include Michigan State and Michigan, the former school being the presumed leader.  In him I see maybe a Craig Roh/Tim Jamison ceiling.…



May 10th, 2013 at 8:30 AM ^

I think there's the potential for his career to develop somewhat like Roh's, where he starts off at WDE and eventually grows into a SDE.  I think there's plenty of room for him to add enough weight to play SDE; he's thicker and taller than Frank Clark was in high school, and Clark is up around 280 now.


May 10th, 2013 at 8:42 AM ^

He wants to go to USC badly, with MSU as his back up.  I wouldn't be crushed if he didnt commit to UM.  I think the only reason he hasn't picked Sparty yet is because he's hoping for that USC offer.


May 10th, 2013 at 8:47 AM ^

With the recruiting Hoke & Co. has been doing, he wouldn't see the field as a freshman. And Roh as an upperclassman wasn't a superstar, but somewhat Kovacsian by using technique and football IQ to be a solid, dependable starter.

Only downfall is that "lazy" bit you put in there. Does he have the drive/motivation to be a workout warrior and the patience to learn? Maybe MSU is a better fit for the guy.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:42 AM ^

But against the run & running QBs, the SDE sets the edge. You need someone to contain, play smart and let the linebackers come clean up in that scenario. Let the WDE & Rush LBs get all the pass rush. SDE is where you don't want mistakes.

Roh may have been a poor man's RVB, but not by much. And if you can get someone who is a step below RVB, I don't think you can complain. Not every DE is going to be Clowney, and we still have a chance at two studs outside of Marshall for this class.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

What might be the staff's strategy to make sure they still leave room for McDowell and Hand? Would they take three at that position if the two higher ranked prospects wanted to join the class at a later date (assuming a lower ranked prospect like Marshall joined sooner)?


May 10th, 2013 at 9:07 AM ^

As you say in your review, many of his highlights are really more "lowlights" of the opposition.  He didn't do himself any favors by including so many plays where a clueless O-lineman or TE misses an assignment and just stands there or runs by him, not even attempting to block, giving him a free shot where all he has to do is run in a straght line to the QB. He does seem fairly quick for his size, though.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:12 AM ^

It's odd that a kid with an offer sheet like this would consider wasting his career away at a school like michigan state. if he turns out to be nfl-caliber, msu's lack of a national brand will bump him down at least one draft round (and probably more) compared to where he would get drafted if he played for Michigan. The best example of this is Jonas Mouton and Greg Jones. Both had similar size and similar skills, and they played against the same competition. Mouton was an above-average linebacker for sure, but Jones won B10 player of the year. And yet Mouton got drafted in round 2, while Jones fell all the way to round 6. Just shows what the power of the block M can do for you, and what MSU's brand cannot.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:15 AM ^

We need a "Stupid Argument" moderation category.  


Mouton had prototypical NFL measureables, Greg Jones was the exact oppostie.  That had everything to do with where those guys got drafted.  

How do you explain Eric Fisher going #1 overall out of the Mighty MAC?  I mean, MAC kids are 3rd rounders tops, right?  


May 10th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

there are exceptions to every rule. but the fact of the matter is that good players at national programs tend to get more national exposure, while good players at smaller schools fall into obscurity much more easily. all other things being equal, a player at a bigger program has better odds of being drafted higher than he would if he were at a smaller program. once you've watched the nfl draft as long as many of us here have, you'll begin to realize this.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

Ohhh, you have more MGoPoints than I do, so you're smarter than me.  I get it now.  


Obviously there is a correlation between a school's tradition, long term success, and the number of draft picks.  But to say that a 4* is going to waste his career going to a "2nd tier" school is a little ridiculous.  I don't think Michigan has had slamming success in the draft the last few years either.  


May 10th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

artds - that was a poor argument you made.  You use the "all things being equal" comment, yet compared two players where everything was not equal (in Jones and Mouton). Being the defensive player of the year in your conference doesn't get you drafted high no matter what school you go to.  Denard was the Offensive player of the year at Michigan (Michigan!) and he lasted until the 5th round. 

Point is, when MSU has NFL caliber players, they get drafted.  The #1 overall pick this year went to a kid from some school in Mount Pleasant, MI over a more hyped player at his same position from Texas A&M.  I would argue Purdue gets less exposure than MSU, and they have had first rounders and other high draft picks recently.  Let's not pretend like NFL scouts only really look at the 15 best programs for their talent.  


May 11th, 2013 at 12:34 AM ^

The problem is that you are conflating "national exposure" with "NFL draft".

A player at UM will be on national TV more than one at MSU, and will probably get more publicity, more love from ESPN and so on. This does not mean a lot when considering the NFL draft.

As people have pointed out, Fisher went to CMU.

Te'o was sold as a Heisman candidate and we all were forced to listen to his story every Saturday. He was drafted in the 2nd round despite being the most discussed college football player in the country.

National exposure is not necessarily correlated with NFL draft status. But I think you know that, you're just backpedaling from your first, worse argument.


May 10th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

MSU is a top 40 -50 program nationwide,  the last four or five years they have been a consistent top 30 program with a couple real good teams.  

Are we better than MSU at life?  of course.  but I think your argument sounds igorant and ripe with sour grapes...




Monocle Smile

May 10th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

Firstly, it's rather facepalm-worthy to say "all other things being equal" when your example was Mouton vs. Jones. At least acknowledge your example sucked.

Secondly, we're not talking about Alcorn State where Donald f'in Driver gets drafted with a team's last pick and only because someone on the inside brought up his name. We laugh, but MSU is still a Big Ten program that produces guys who can make an NFL roster.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

This evaluation does not leave a ton of room to get excited about him...a servicable player that will never be a superstar...ugh.  I wish the kid the best that was a bit of a buzz kill.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:49 AM ^

Well let's not get carried away with the negatives based on one review. Projecting players' futures is probably more art than science, and technique can be taught.  Size and speed, not so much. A lot does depend on the player's attitude and willingness to work to improve.


May 10th, 2013 at 10:09 AM ^

this is the review of Magnus. Just one person who has been horribly wrong and incitefully correct at times in the past...

I bounce back and forth with magnus cause I appreciate his willingness to share his oppinions and defend them but I also think people need to keep in mind that his rankings don't carry any special weight; it isn't like he gets to watch too many of the players in person or even talk to people who see them play in person.

like I said, its just one review.  If you are so inclined you could go watch some youtube clips, start your own website and you will have the same validity as Magnus...




May 10th, 2013 at 11:06 AM ^

Uhhh, no, I wouldn't. Nor would a lot of fans.

I don't regard Magnus's opinions as the sole gospel about any player, any more than I'd regard Sam Webb as the only arbiter of truth, but both guys know a lot more about various aspects of football and recruiting than I do. On occasion I disagree with some of Magnus's conclusions, but so what? Without differences of opinion, MGoBlog would have no reason to exist, nor would most of the internet.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

Not sure that most highlight films are not actually more "lowlights" of other teams.  Especially for this type of position.  D. Green seems to be a great prospect but some of the teams on his film didn't look that good and their records confirmed that.  With that being said, it doesn't mean the player is necesarilly lacking.  I will take Mattison's eye and intuition anyday over the mullings of someone who hasn't watched a player in person.


May 10th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

You make a great point regarding the eye of our own staff to decide who they want to offer. I do trust Mattison and the coaching staff (obv. Hoke) to decide who they'll pursue. I also think that a bird in the hand (within reason) is better than two in the bush. (That is to say, I definitely want Hand and McDowell, but don't think it is worth slow playing Marshall.) If both Hand and McDowell want to come to Michigan, I trust we'll find a way to make it happen.

I also think we are now entering a period of enough depth where you can redshirt someone like Marshall. The competition in practice sometimes allows someone who you have moderate expectations for to really rise to the top. An (unfortunate) example of this is Hankins. He should have been offered at Michigan, and he did well at Ohio. If we bring on Marshall, he'll know and we'll know inside of two years whether or not he has what it takes to see the field regularly. If he does, it validates the offer. If he doesn't, well, he is depth, or he can go the way of Ringer. There is no perfect way to predict who will pan out, and you're always going to have some attrition. Honestly, bringing on guys with decent potential who still have to be coached up is a great way to improve. (i.e., I want more high ceiling guys who still have a ways to get there.)


May 10th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

You often see defensive linemen blowing up blockers, using hump moves, swim moves, rip moves, etc.  I don't think the DE position lends itself to opponents' lowlights any more than any other position.

You won't ever hear me suggest that I'm a better evaluator of talent than Mattison, but there's a decent chance that he has never seen Marshall play football in person, either.  He has probably seen game film and/or camp film, but I don't know if Marshall attended Michigan's camp (here's at least a partial list of participants from last summer).  For all any of us know, Mattison okayed extending the offer to Marshall based on perhaps a little more film than is available to us on the internet.

Again, he's a better coach than I am, and I'm perfectly capable of being wrong.


May 11th, 2013 at 12:42 AM ^

I think you're underplaying the amount of tape the coaches watch. You go off of highlights. I promise you the coaches watch entire games. These game films are not available to us on the internet.

I played college football, and my high school coach sent hundreds of game films to various schools. Some of them were of my poorer performances. Highlight tapes are often used to introduce a kid to a school, but when considering who to offer, the schools watch multiple games. Often in person.

I think you have a fine site, but let's not pretend you watch as much film as coaches do. You don't, because you can't. There's nothing wrong with that.

Mr. Rager

May 10th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

Whatever the odds are on:

"Chooses Sparty, we lose out on Hand to VT, and get Marshall to flip in January" 

I would like to bet on them.  Thanks.