Lawrence Marshall had been holding on to a secret in recent weeks. During that same time the four-star defensive end had been the subject of rampant speculation. Many fans and even some recruiting pundits had him signed, sealed, and delivered to Michigan State. All the while Michigan’s newest commitment knew otherwise.
“I was thinking about committing (to Michigan) for like a month now, so I knew where I was about to go for a whole month,” Marshall said sheepishly. “I just didn’t want nobody to know where I wanted to go. I went up (to Ann Arbor today for a visit) and it was the perfect timing to commit. I think I caught them by surprise. I don’t think they really knew that I was going to commit there today.”
The only ones with a clue were likely Marshall’s family members. They had long ago made their preferences clear and were pleased to know that they were all seeing eye to eye.
“My mom loves Michigan,” stated Marshall. “My mom was very happy that I committed to Michigan. She said that was the best mother’s day gift ever, so I made my mom happy. Aaron (Marshall’s cousin and mentor) liked Michigan too. I talked it over with my parents and Aaron, and they all basically said, ‘Michigan is the school for you.’ I was feeling like Michigan is the school for me too, so I was like, ‘if everybody is saying it, and I’m saying it, I gotta choose that school.’"
The approval of his family was the final piece to Marshall’s recruiting puzzle. That his friend Maurice Ways had pledged there recently was simply icing on the cake.
“Moe ways probably texted me like twice a week,” he said laughingly. “As soon as he committed to Michigan he was on me to commit to Michigan too. I won’t say it had a big impact on me because I was thinking about committing to Michigan before he committed to Michigan. It was just a matter of time for me to commit myself.”
There were many factors that ultimately convinced Scout.com’s #12 defensive end that Michigan is the best fit, but one stood above all the rest.
“The coaching staff,” Marshall said matter-of-factly. “I think the coaching staff has what it takes for me to improve my talents to get to the next level. Coach Mattison has coached some of the greatest players, like Ray Lewis of all people. He coached one of the greatest defenses ever with the Ravens. I think he has got the ability to teach me the stuff I don’t know yet to get me to the next level.”
In the final analysis the opportunity to receive Mattison’s tutelage proved more appealing than the chance to go to schools with lesser numbers at his position.
“I think I can outwork everybody to get where I need to go,” Marshall said confidently. “Since I started football I’ve always had to outwork somebody to get to where I wanted to go. I’m 235 right now --I’m probably going to put on 10 more pounds before my season starts. I’m probably going to bulk up get stronger, get faster, get my hands faster, get my technique better, then come to college and dominate.”
Now that his own recruitment is behind him, he plans to help bring others into the Maize & Blue fold.
“I’m just going to enjoy the rest of this day and then probably start recruiting on Monday. Malik is one of the guys."
“The best players from Michigan gotta go to Michigan.”
The newest Wolverines believes that statement so much that he has a message for any former suitors that courted him, and any that might contemplate doing so in the future.
“I’m Wolverine. That’s all I’ve got to say.”