After treating Iman Marshall to a strong official visit last week the Michigan coaching staff had one more face-to-face chance to make its case for the five-star cornerback Monday. For Marshall’s father it was the first time he physically met the Wolverine brass, and he came away extremely impressed.
“I think they were very, very classy,” Mr. Marshall said. “Obviously I can tell that they’re in a situation where they have had a great deal of success over the course of their careers and they carry themselves in that manner – very confident in their abilities. Most importantly, they just seem very, very down to earth… (people) you can relate to. It was very enjoyable. The meeting was very, very enjoyable.”
After getting a feel for the coaches personally, the focus turned to the plan that would put into place for his son if he were to choose Michigan as his future home. Before one word was spoken on that topic, Marshall had few if any questions about the level of coaching that will be on display in Ann Arbor.
“I already kind of knew their resume a little bit,” said Mr. Marshall. “They kind of touched on it. They didn’t go into great detail. They really wanted to talk about other things that they could bring to the table. The pro prospects are obviously very, very enticing. They’ve been there, they’ve done that. They have access. They have a blueprint. They know exactly what route a kid should take in order to get there and what they need to do. Not only to get there but to stay there (and) have some longevity. They kind of touched on all that.”
“They are very impressive, all of them,” he continued. “Mr. (Greg) Jackson (and) especially Harbaugh. You can see the fire, the intensity in his eyes. That’s the thing I noticed about all the coaches. They are very, very intense, very articulate. Able to sit there and have you believe and (wanting to share in) their vision. That’s the thing… you can have vision about something, but the hard thing is conveying that vision to somebody else and somebody to believe in your vision also. I think they came away from that meeting letting me see that aspect. They are some very good guys.”
By meeting’s end the Wolverine brass clearly made same type of positive impression on the elder Marshall that it had on the younger one the week prior. Winning over parents is obviously an important part of every recruitment, but in Marshall’s case it is particularly so. This father/son duo is extremely close… so close you could also call them friends. That means there are two important questions for which the answers will reveal a great deal about Michigan’s chances.
How hard would it be for the Mr. Marshall to let his son move across the country, and how willing is he endure the sadness that might come with so much distance being between them.
“Those are two separate questions,” he replied. “How hard would it be? It’d be extremely hard. I think it would be extremely hard for any parent to go through regardless of how strong their relationship is. You took care of that kid all your life. That’s my child. If he moved out of the house and moved down the street, I’d be concerned. Obviously that’s real big, but what people don’t understand is that I prepped my son for this. My son is a very mature kid. The reason I’m saying he is very mature is because I didn’t hide a lot of things from him. I knew this moment would come. Unlike a lot of people that are in this situation, I knew my son would be a D-1 prospect when he was an eighth grader. I knew he was a division one prospect. So it gave me enough time to prepare myself mentality for whatever may come. Distance is not a problem, especially with all these great cable deals now, satellites. You can watch your son on TV every week and you won’t miss anything. Distance is not a concern. I feel like he can handle the stuff under any situation. I’m not worried about. Any time somebody leaves your life, especially your kid, it is always going to be a void. Whether he is staying right around the corner from you or if he moves 3000 miles away, there is still going to be a void that you can never replace.”
Stay tuned for part two in which Mr. Marshall lays out next week’s deliberation process.