|Lawrence Marshall (image via Scout)|
Weight: 245 lbs.
High school: Southfield (MI) Southfield
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #93
Last year: Marshall was a senior in high school. He made 68 tackles, 8 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He finished as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 weakside end, and #176 overall.
Final TTB Rating: 72
Marshall originally committed to Ohio State after visiting Columbus in the spring of 2013, only to reconsider and decommit shortly thereafter. Then in early May, he committed to the Wolverines. It wasn't a Kyle Kalis-level event from rival to rival, nor did it have the buildup of Gareon Conley flipping to Ohio State. Still, there are worse things than stealing a recruit from the Buckeyes. Marshall was expected to give Michigan a boost in the recruitment of defensive lineman Malik McDowell (who transferred from Detroit Loyola prior to the 2013 season), but that was not to be. McDowell eventually chose Michigan State, and Marshall ended up as the only defensive end in Michigan's 2014 class. He had a solid senior season and was chosen for the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.
Marshall has reached a good size for a freshman defensive end and comes in larger than any weakside end prospect in recent memory (most of them have been 215-230 lbs.). That may be fortunate, because Michigan is a little short on weakside ends and may need Marshall to play a role this season. Established starter Frank Clark has an experienced junior backup in Mario Ojemudia, but that's where the depth chart stops. Michigan could rearrange some things and put strongside guys Taco Charlton or Brennen Beyer at weakside end if necessary, because there's more depth behind them. Regardless, this coaching staff has gone three deep at weakside end for the past few years, so my expectation is that they will play Marshall. One other strategy in the past has been to play a SAM linebacker at weakside end in nickel situations, which might save someone like Marshall from burning his redshirt; however, Cameron Gordon graduated and Jake Ryan moved to middle linebacker, so putting Ryan down at WDE would necessitate bringing in a backup middle linebacker, which is a questionable move. The coaching staff will probably try to get Marshall's feet wet early in the season so he can contribute more as the year goes along.
Prediction: Backup weakside end