“I have decommitted from Ohio State.”
That simple statement from Southfield (MI) star Lawrence Marshall un-rang a bell had been resonating loudly throughout Michigan in days since he made his pledge to the Bucks. The 6-4 230-pounder had been wowed during a whirlwind visit to Columbus, and in retrospect believes his commitment resulted from being caught up in the emotion of the moment.
“I told the head man in charge… I told Urban Meyer,” said Marshall regarding his change of heart. “I just told him I wanted to decommit and wait out my decision. He said; ‘Okay.’ He understood and I appreciate that. Then I called Coach Dantonio and then I called Coach Hoke and told them the news.”
Marshall’s family was instrumental in getting him to rethink and take a hard look at whether he’d made the most informed choice. He eventually concluded that he hadn’t, thanks in large part to trips to Michigan State and Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
“I went up to Michigan State and saw how they were, and I went up to Michigan and saw how they were, and I was like “I just made my decision too early,’” Marshall admitted. "I (initially said) I would wait it out until after my football season. I had a great time (in Columbus last weekend) and it was crazy, but it was just going too fast. I’m trying to slow it back down.”
The Spartans were thought by many to be the early favorite for the four-star DE thanks to their distinction as his first major BCS offer and the presence of good friend, former Southfield Lathrup LB, Jamal Lyles. Marshall himself shied away from naming Michigan State his frontrunner, but he readily acknowledged that his boyhood affinity for the Green & White. During his visit to East Lansing Tuesday for the Michigan - Michigan State he was reminded of just how much he still likes the Spartans.
“The game was crazy,” Marshall said excitedly. “The game was CRAZY! It was a great basketball game with Keith Appling and Trey Burke going head to head… two great point guards. Then I had a sit down with Coach ‘D’ and was talking to him. He was just telling me the ins and outs of how he felt. He was just talking to me as a person, not as a football recruit ... and he just opened my eyes. “
“He said, ‘You’ve got to find the truth in people. You’ve got to figure out if they’re really there for you or if they just want you because you’re a kid from Michigan.’”
“I’m just trying to see each campus. I’m just trying to go see other schools as of right now. Ohio State... they’re still one of my favorite schools… don’t get me wrong. Coach Urban Meyer is a great coach, Coach Coombs is a wonderful coach, and the d-line coach is a great coach too. Everybody is a great coach. There is nothing against Ohio State at all. I just want to wait out my decision right now and take it slow.”
Marshall’s time in Ann Arbor Wednesday further cemented in his mind the need to do so. He had gained a much greater appreciation for the Wolverines in recent months thanks to their persistent courtship, but during his latest visit they took things to another level.
“Just being up at Michigan (Wednesday) opened my eyes (more),” stated Marshall. “Talking to players like Denard Robinson… he is from Florida and he was telling me the good and bad and just being real with me. Seeing everything, talking to the coaching staff… all the coaching staff was up there and I was talking to everybody.”
“I literally spent the whole day with Brady Hoke. I was with him the whole day. I was also with Coach Montgomery, Coach Mattison, and Coach Jackson. I got up there like 4:30pm and I left Michigan around 8:30. It was one-on-one (attention) the whole day.”
Both in-state schools will have yet another opportunity to impress in the very near future.
Said Marshall, “I’m going to be at Michigan State this weekend, I’m going to be at Michigan next weekend, and then we’ll go from there.”
He hasn’t yet set up a return trip to Columbus, but anticipates doing so sometime soon. He also hopes to add one out-of-region school to his visit itinerary.
“USC,” he said referring to another of his childhood favorites. “You already know!”