MI DL Lawrence Marshall, listed at 6'3, 225ish, committed to Michigan this morning, as first confirmed by Steve Lorenz at 247. Marshall becomes the 9th member of the 2014 class, as well as the 7th 247 composite four star. This commitment is one that is particularly satisfying to most Michigan fans, since Marshall is a former Ohio State commit and many thought him to be a heavy Michigan State lean.
He was first offered by Michigan in November of the past year. Up until his commitment to Ohio State (out of the blue) in February, many thought it would be a battle between Michigan State and Michigan. After his decommitment three days later, the same was thought to be true, with Michigan State leading. In fact, here is 247's crystal ball prediction on Marshall.
These guys were just reading the tea leaves. Certainly, up until this past week, Michigan didn't seem like much of a factor at all. With Hoke and staff, the old Sam Webb saying that 'if you can get a kid on campus, anything can happen' is truer than ever.
On film, Marshall sort of reminds me of former Buckeye Se'Von Pittman. Although both are good athletes for their size, neither are truly explosive enough to be great pass rushers. There's also some stiffness in his hips that aptly caused Magnus to compare him to former Wolverine Craig Roh. Indeed, if he has the same frame that can get up to the 280 range, a similar career trajectory seems distinctly possible.
Of course, if I just left the scouting report at that, it wouldn't really be doing Marshall justice. He does have the traits of a successful DE in many aspects of his game. He's got the long arms that highlight NFL scouting reports, a decent burst once he gets out his stance, fairly good hand use and understanding of leverage. All in all, he looks like a high floor, low ceiling type of player.
But where will that place him on the depth chart? Well, he'll almost certainly be the next in line of weakside DEs that are given a shot to make an impact their freshman year. For the past three years, we've seen that happen with Frank Clark, Mario Ojemudia, and (now) Taco Charlton. If he can add something that the other three can't (which isn't likely his freshman year), he'll be a situational pass rusher. More likely, he'll redshirt. For a few years thereafter, he'll likely be a rotational end, and depending on how much weight he adds, he could end up on the strongside. If he ends up there, he'll battle whomever else Michigan brings in this class to replace Godin/Strobel after they leave.
So there you have it, folks. Marshall will make an impact, but it likely won't be a few years down the line. While he may not be the patented NFL pass rusher, he could certainly develop into a solid B1G level player. I'll leave you with this.