Time to grow up.
That has been the mindset all off-season for Michigan junior defensive end Lawrence Marshall. During his first two years as a Wolverine he faced the constant need to bulk up and to the occasional need to get out of the coaches’ doghouse. Those days are officially behind him.
"I'm mature (now),” Marshall told The Michigan Insider during the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Detroit last week. “I'm not a little kid anymore. I feel like I'm a grown man now doing grown man things. I'm putting up grown man weight. My work ethic has tremendously changed from my freshman and sophomore years. Everyone on the d-line… we're always working as a team. That's one thing I can see that we do more this year than we did last year. Everyone is connecting… gelling together."
That portends great things on the horizon the Michigan’s deepest and most veteran position group. If things go according to plan then Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison will be able to rotate two or possibly even three players at every spot up front.
“We've got good players,” said Marshall. “Everybody knows the system. We've got good leaders like Taco (Charlton) and Chris (Wormley) that know the system. We've got good leaders on the d-line."
They also have players with loads of untapped potential like Marshall. He has been working diligently to finally bring that talent to the fore.
"I felt like I separated myself from a lot of players (during the spring),” Marshall said confidently. “I did real good, learned the playbook, played fast, (and) did what I was supposed to do."
"I'm at 270 (lbs.) right now. That's exactly where I plan to be at (in the fall)."
The additional size and strength has made Marshall more formidable both against the run and as a pass rusher. That combined with the new role he is set to play in Don Brown’s defense has him primed to be a significant contributor this year.
"I play in the six-technique, so I play in front of the tight end more,” he said. “I love that. I feel like a tight end can't block me. If the tight end is blocking me I'm doing something wrong. That's all I've got to say about that."