Michigan Plucks Marshall from Spartans, B1G World Shifts a Little
In-state four-star defensive end Lawrence Marshall has been considered a Michigan State lean for quite some time now. The former Ohio State commitment has been to East Lansing quite often in recent weeks, but things changed when he visited Ann Arbor:
The best players from Michigan goes to Michigan #Team135— Lawrence Marshall Jr (@ESPN_Lo) May 11, 2013
Michael Ferns was on campus with fellow commitments Wilton Speight and Maurice Ways, and the trio's work paid off. Marshall's commitment inevitably brought out the worst in Spartan fans across the internet. The commitment also brought on a wave of intriguing tweets:
Remember that time when Drake Harris was a MSU commit, Lawrence Marshall was an OSU commit, and Malik McDowell was an ND lean?— Mark Zakrajsek (@Mgobluegr) May 11, 2013
Moe Ways said at the NFTC he had been recruiting Lawrence Marshall hard and he thought it was working. Looks like he was right.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) May 11, 2013
Marshall gives Michigan another fairly long, athletic weak side defensive end to work with. He has great but not elite burst off of the ball and reminds me of Taco Charlton because of his current state of holy-crap-you-need-coaching rawness. Check out DGDestroy's New Blue post for a thorough breakdown of the young man's game.
Jabrill Peppers: Holy Sh** Fast
Michigan hasn't had a true burner on defense for quite some time, but it looks like that's about to change: Michigan lean and consensus five-star cornerback Jabrill Peppers ran a New Jersey state record of 20.79 seconds in the 200-meter dash this weekend. He beat the field so badly that a man taking video of the action murmured "holy shit.." after witnessing the run. Click on that link and watch the video, then say a prayer to the football gods that he ends up in Ann Arbor.
Then again, that prayer might not be necessary. Peppers will take visits to Stanford and Penn State before his senior season of football begins, and all signs point to him making a decision well before he puts the pads back on. He's most likely visiting Penn State to satisfy some of his teammates who are being recruited by the Nittany Lions; Stanford is still the only legitimate contender, and even they're a mile behind Michigan right now.
Quarterback commitment Wilton Speight has been doing work on Peppers:
I'll be making "crystal ball" predictions over at 247 Sports soon, and you can bet that Peppers to Michigan will be my first entry.
Winovich Rising, Watson Dropping
The situation at linebacker seems to change by the week. Last week it looked like Kyron Watson was a lock to commit to Michigan during his trip on May 20th, but it looks like the staff is cooling on him. He checked into recent camps well below the six-foot mark, making him a miniature middle linebacker with absolutely no chance of playing the SAM position. We knew he wouldn't be playing the SAM spot before he went to the camps, but the fact that he's somewhere around 5'10" has dropped him down the board.
Outside linebacker Chase Winovich remains at the top of Michigan's linebacker board. The usual recruiting suspects are back at it again:
Winovich had quite the weekend. I saw him screaming down State Street on the back of a scooter that was being manned by Jake Ryan, and not long after he got to hit some balls with two of Michigan's commitments. Rumors of Michigan's comeback in his recruitment are getting louder and louder; the staff could be pulling another heist behind the backs of the Ohio State Buckeyes, who have been considered the favorites for Winovich's services ever since they offered.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Consensus five-star defensive end and Michigan target Da'Shawn Hand is closing in on 260 pounds. He's still somehow under eleven percent body fat:
He'll be ready for the game from a physical standpoint from day one. Michigan still trails Virginia Tech in Hand's recruitment, but things could change if Jabrill Peppers pulls the trigger soon.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this has to be the first time ESPN actually has Michigan in the top three of their recruiting rankings so early in the process. It feels like Michigan recruits are always the under the radar type to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, but that isn't the case this year:
ESPN 150 commits: Michigan: 8, LSU: 5, Florida: 4, FSU: 4, Texas A&M: 3, Bama: 3— WolverineNation ESPN (@WolverineNation) May 11, 2013
That baffles me. It's mind bottling!
The true size of recruits often comes under question, but there's no need to question the fact that Maurice Ways is a big receiver:
This question came up quite a bit. WR commit Moe Ways measured in at the Chicago #NFTC at 6-3.5, 193 pounds— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) May 10, 2013
He should top out at roughly 6'4", 215 pounds, giving Michigan more big-bodied receivers than just about anyone in the country.
Our DGDestroys put out a comical tweet the other day:
One sign of Michigan's improvement in recruiting- Not a single person thinks UM 'let Jared Wangler slip away'. Think that's true in 2010?— DG (@DGDestroys) May 10, 2013
Do I think the fan base would freak out over a lost three-star linebacker in 2010? Does Terrelle Pryor think that murder is an everyday thing? Yes, yes he does.
Finally, incoming gunslinger Shane Morris will be wearing a legendary number at the next level: