DE Lawrence Marshall Explains De-Commitment
By Michael Chung
First Lewis Neal, then Alex Anzalone, and then Taivon Jacobs. Finally, in the 11th hour, it was Johnny Townsend.
The 2013 recruiting class had its share of drama. Not only did we see four verbal pledges de-commit but also long-time verbal commit Ezekiel Elliott flirted with his childhood team Missouri by taking an official visit right before National Signing Day. He would not grant interviews in the days after his visit, but he ended up sticking with the Buckeyes in the end.
Thus came to a close the 2013 recruiting saga.
One would think we might receive a break from the action once all the signatures were in, but the first weekend after NSD saw three prospects pledge their verbal commitments: OL Kyle Trout, RB/ATH Parris Campbell and DE Lawrence Marshall. Marshall is one of the top four prospects in the state of Michigan and after Feb. 10, Ohio State had two of them committed to the 2014 class.
But drama ensued almost immediately.
It was widely reported that Marshall visited Michigan State and attended the game against Michigan in East Lansing while sitting with some MSU football players. Marshall visited Michigan and shortly afterwards announced he was de-committing from Ohio State only three days after he pledged his verbal commitment.
“I just went home and had second thoughts,” he told The-Ozone. “I had a really good time on my visit and I felt a commitment was just right at the time.”
Urban Meyer has had a little too much experience lately dealing with untimely de-commitments. Almost a week to the day of Marshall’s, he was on the phone with now Florida Gator punter Johnny Townsend.
“He was fine with it,” Marshall said.
“He was not too upset and was very understanding.”
There is a long way to go in this 2014 recruiting cycle, almost a whole year until National Signing Day. So after making a verbal commitment with over 50 weeks left in the 2014 recruiting season, Marshall wants to make sure he’s a little more meticulous with his decision the second time around.
“I am going to take my time before I make a decision on a school,” Marshall said.
“The coaches at Ohio State did not pressure me into making a decision on my visit and they will be fine if I take my time. I just feel I need more time to look at other schools and think more on where I will go to college.”
At 6-4, 225 pounds, the Southfield (Mich.) defensive end “has great athleticism, change of direction and speed in pursuit. Has all of the tools to be an elite pass rusher, just needs continued work on his technique. Plays with hand down in high school, but may be a stand-up rusher in college,” writes Allen Trieu, Midwest Football Recruiting Manager for Scout.com.
“(He) has not been asked to drop into coverage much, but that's something he may be asked to do at the next level. Has to add some weight, but all of the raw tools are there.”
Meyer has gone on record saying that defensive line is the most important aspect of a championship football team and has stated that Michigan (though he will not mention them by name) is the slated enemy.
Marshall would fulfill both entities of Meyer’s focus: one, he is a top defensive lineman and two, he is a prospect who might normally be a lock for Michigan, thus weakening the Wolverines if Meyer can lure Marshall away from the state up north.
With Marshall being such an important prospect, the Ohio State coaching staff will give him all the time he needs. One thing is certain, the 2014 recruiting season will be filled with drama, and Marshall’s de-commitment is only the start.