Saturday, July 18, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #43 Lawrence Marshall

Lawrence Marshall
Name: Lawrence Marshall
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 238 lbs.
High school: Southfield (MI) Southfield
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #93
Last year: I ranked Marshall #50 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He redshirted.

Michigan has not done a great job of stockpiling rush ends in recent years. That nearly caught up with the Wolverines last year when the team had very few options. Frank Clark was kicked off the team, leaving Mario Ojemudia as the only experienced player at the position. I thought Marshall might get a chance to play just to get his feet wet for 2015, but it didn't happen. The coaches had a short rotation throughout the season.

Michigan has a little more depth this year now that a couple freshmen (Shelton Johnson, Reuben Jones) have been added to the roster, but they are obviously inexperienced, too. Marshall is listed as a defensive end, but he will play the Buck linebacker position, which is roughly the weakside end that existed under the previous staff. Ojemudia should inherit the starting job, but the backup situation is unclear. Senior Royce Jenkins-Stone played there in the spring, but much like Brandon Herron during the Rich Rodriguez era, he's undersized and doesn't really have the skills you're looking for in a weakside end. Marshall is a defensive end by trade, has a bigger frame, and earned some buzz in the spring for his pass rushing abilities. In the spring game, Marshall made a nice looking play where running back Wyatt Shallman whiffed on the block and Marshall took down quarterback Shane Morris for a sack. He should see a fair amount of playing time this season.

Prediction: Backup Buck linebacker


  1. I see harbaugh's group really coaching this kid up similar to what richrod did with Brandon graham... Made him a monster..

  2. Apparently he will be in the 2 - deep? If not, then he will only see special team play time.
    Coach Harbaugh is going to play the best, no matter if they are freshman, so if Marshall is better than RJS then he will get a chance to show it in prime time.

  3. It always felt like Michigan was struggling to keep up at the rush end position under Hoke. They could never land an elite DE and those they recruited for the position seemed to be projects who ended up out growing the position before they saw the field.

    1. Agree. Always thought that the praise of Hoke's defensive-line eye should be qualified a bit: It's DTs he excelled with, not DL as a whole. Clark did come along quite well, for which they deserve credit, but as you mentioned, they had a hard time recruiting their own guys for the position.

  4. At first glance in the spring game, Marshall looks the part. Has a nice frame. Even at 240, he still looks very lean. Flashed some nice burst and aggressiveness in the scrimmage as well. Unlike Ojemudia and Taco, Marshall seems to have the potential for a legit speed rush (which IMO is important for the position). Agree that he probably plays a lot and has a chance to become a primary player.

  5. I like Marshall, but I see his lack of role last year as a small strike against him. I also have a hunch he might get passed by a freshman. Still, he should be in the mix for a meaningful role at a position of need. Agree with the ranking overall.

    Thunder, in his commit post you doubted him in part because he flipped from OSU. Does that still leave you doubting him or have you changed your mind a bit?