Lawrence Marshall hasn’t shied away from competition this offseason, opting instead to attend any and every camp he possibly can. His latest challenge was the Nike Football Training Camp in Addison Illinois. The experience proved to be one of his most memorable to date.
“I think I did good out there playing against some of the best kids,” said Marshall. “I don’t know their names but there were a lot of good people out here. One of the best camps I’ve ever been to.”
The on-field battles were welcome diversions from a recruiting race that is suddenly in its home stretch. Last week the four-star defensive end settled on a final four of Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Michigan. Now he is facing the difficult task seeing which of the aforementioned suitorsis the best fit.
“Notre Dame has got a good education, they went to the national championship, and they’ve got a good coaching staff,” Marshall stated. “(Oklahoma has) Coach Montgomery. Me and him have got a good connection. When he left Michigan he went to (Oklahoma), and he offered me right away. We’ve had a good connection ever since he left. (At Michigan State) Coach Dantonio is a good coach. The players up there treat you like a family. (At Michigan) Coach Mattison coached Ray Lewis with the Ravens and a whole lot of people down in Florida – a lot of first draft picks.”
Recent scuttlebutt had Michigan State as the team to beat, but Marshall isn’t tipping his hand when it comes to the veracity of those claims.
“I don’t know right now,” he replied when asked if the Spartans are out front. “I’m going to make my decision sometime at the end of this month.”
Leading up to that point Marshall hopes to make a few more campus stops to gather some last minute information.
“I’m taking a visit this weekend to Michigan,” he reported. “I’m probably going to take another visit. I’m trying to get out to Oklahoma.”
Joining him in Ann Arbor will be a number of Michigan commitments, including longtime friend Maurice Ways. The two were AAU teammates in middle school. Now Ways is working hard to make sure they join forces again in college. When Ways’ persistence as a recruiter was mentioned, Marshall agreed wholeheartedly.
“Tell me about it,” Marshall exclaimed laughingly. “Every time I see him (he’s recruiting).”
While certainly a positive for the Maize & Blue, it’s but one aspect of the talented youngster’s broader criteria.
Said Marshall, “it’ll come down to playing time, how the players treat each other, how the coaches treat the players… family.”