- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
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With seven commitments in the ESPN 150, Michigan has been on a roll in the 2014 class. That continued Saturday as the Wolverines picked up their eighth ESPN 150 prospect.
Defensive end Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) confirmed in a text message that he committed to Michigan while on a visit Saturday.
The No. 107 ranked player in the country originally made his pledge to Ohio State in February, but that only lasted a few days. Marshall decommitted from Ohio State after visiting Michigan and Michigan State and since then mainly focused on the in-state schools.
Many believed that the Spartans held the upper hand with Marshall, but Michigan had a secret weapon on its side. Wide receiver commit Maurice Ways (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) has been friends with Marshall since middle school and put in some extra work to recruit his longtime friend to Michigan. Ways said at a recent camp that he believed his recruiting pitch to Marshall was working, and it turns out he was right.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect is likely a weakside defensive end at the next level. He has added good weight in recent months while maintaining his quickness off the line. He will add size and speed to Michigan's pass rush.
Marshall's commitment gives Michigan nine total commitments and two defensive line commits to go along with defensive tackle Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland). Michigan is being considered by some other top-ranked defensive line prospects and Marshall's commitment likely won't deter those efforts.
The overall No. 4-ranked prospect, Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), still holds Michigan in his top group and is probably best suited at strong-side defensive end in college. His recruitment shouldn't be impacted by Marshall. The same goes for defensive tackle target Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola), who also holds Michigan very high on his list.
449dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert