There's a New #1 for Marcus Hall

Many recruiting observers have assumed that Cleveland (OH) Glenville offensive tackle was a shoe-in for Ohio State. He, though, has long maintained he is open. GoBlueWolverine chatted with the five-star lineman after his official visit this weekend to find out where things now stand. Have the Wolverines unseated the Buckeyes as his favorite?

When a recruit is smack dab in the middle of a recruiting battle between Michigan and Ohio State, the pull on said prospect can sometimes be overwhelming. It's even more stressful when that youngster resides in Ohio. Cleveland Glenville offensive lineman Marcus Hall is going through such an experience, but he is holding up very well.

In an effort to understand the challenges that would lie ahead if he were to choose to attend "that school up north," Hall hoped to speak with someone that has been through the experience. He did that numerous times on his official visit this weekend with his host Patrick Omameh, a Columbus, Ohio native.

"Man, I asked Patrick how did he do it coming to Michigan because he lives like 15 minutes from Ohio State," Hall said.  "Patrick told me it was tough and that it is all about his parents and coach.  They are the ones that are supporting him.  Other people were not happy about it. He told me that he (chose Michigan) because he had a good relationship with Coach Rodriguez and he could make a quicker impact at Michigan."

Hall is certainly no stranger to the pro-Ohio voices Omameh heard, but he has maintained his own way of thinking.

 "Yeah I hear it from some people at my school but I just want to keep my options open," he said confidently.

Michigan continued to be consistent presence in Hall's recruitment based on his insistence that things are far from settled.  After a strong official visit weekend, it appears that the Maize & Blue's efforts have been rewarded.

"Michigan is my leader right now," Hall reported.  "I had a good time this weekend.   The visit was real nice. I really didn't expect it to be that nice. It was so organized and I was very comfortable with everyone. Michigan having a 3-9 season does not bother me.  That just means they need players and I could play early."

That the Wolverines have rocketed to the top of Hall's list will come as a surprise to many, especially considering the recent history of elite Glenville prospects heading to Ohio State.  For Hall that history has created a familiarity with the Buckeye program, but not an obligation to go there.  His coach Ted Ginn Sr. has stressed that to him over and over again.

"I know people think that Coach Ginn is all about Ohio State, but coach is not like that at all," Hall explained.  "He tells me the good and bad about all schools. He has always talked to me and my parents about what is best for me."

Part of determining what's best is getting to know his prospective coaches.  This weekend he had that chance with Rich Rodriguez.

"Coach Rodriguez is real down to earth and he is so intense," Hall said laughing.  "I asked the players if he is like that for real, and they said he is like that all the time."

Hall also chatted a great deal with offensive line Coach Greg Frey, and that interaction had a major impact on him.

"I like the fact that he didn't promise me playing time," the talented youngster said of Frey.  "I think it is hard for a coach to do that.  I actually want to work for mine."

Michigan will have to work hard in the coming weeks to hold onto the pole position.  Ohio State is still a factor at #2 on the list and they are followed by Miami, who he will visit on January 23rd. Tennessee will likely receive a visit on January 30th.  Illinois was scheduled for a visit as well, but the Illini are no longer on Hall's list.

"I was going to visit (Illinois), but after Coach Wofford left for another job I just didn't want to start all over with someone else," he explained.

As for Hall's decision timeline, it's still a bit up in the air, but he could close in on his choice before signing day.

"I should have a better grip on things by the 23rd of January," he said.

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