Jim Harbaugh was in Southfield on Tuesday morning to see some emerging football prospects, and he left after deciding to make a little history.
During a visit to Southfield A&T, Harbaugh watched film of seventh-grade quarterback Isaiah Marshall, currently a youth football player in Southfield and the son of former Brother Rice and Northwestern running back Brian Marshall.
Shortly after Harbaugh left the school, he called the elder Marshall with some news: That 13-year-old Isaiah was about to be the youngest player to receive a scholarship offer from Michigan.
“He came to look at a couple of our kids, he sat down to watch some tape of Isaiah and liked what he saw,” Brian Marshall said Tuesday night. “He broke it down and then extended an offer. He called me, I wasn’t up there yet, to extend an offer.
“He said he was the youngest (to ever receive and offer). He liked what he saw with the film. He liked his anticipation, as far as him throwing kids open and reading coverages. Ball placement. Touch. Things you’re looking for in a quarterback. Can they read progressions, can they throw guys open, can they be poised. All those different things.”
Wow, it looks like Jim Harbaugh has finally figured this recruiting thing out. Sure, he’s taken a couple big swings and misses with his gimmicks to try and get recruits to come to Ann Arbor, but I think he’s finally onto something here. Early bird gets the worm, Jim! Get ‘em while they’re young!
Congratulations to Isaiah. Stay grinding, young man. Keep your head down. Stay humble and hungry, and you’re well on your way to the Peach Bowl.
Now, I do feel like I need to apologize for my previous statement at the beginning of this blog in which I encourage Jim Harbaugh to “get ‘em while they’re young”. I know a lot of people on the internet are currently speculating that Jim Harbaugh’s unorthodox tactics of recruiting are starting to reflect a very clear pattern of preying on young boys. I do not want that to be the narrative here. While there does seem to be a clear and strong correlation between the gimmicks that Jim tries out and very awkward encounters with males under the age of 18, I want nothing to do with it. I don’t care how many times he’s slept over at a kid’s house. Or how many times he’s taken his shirt off to play 2-hand touch football with the kids.
While he certainly has very interesting hand placement there, I do not want this story to be about creepy Jim Harbaugh. It should be about the 7th grader, Isaiah Marshall. Besides, by the time Marshall is a freshman in college, Harbaugh will either be long gone or 0-10 against Ohio State. Make sure you commit to a school, not a coach, Isaiah. It doesn’t by matter how cool he is.
But all kidding aside, I think this is awesome for the Marshall family, and I’m excited to see the 13-year old battle the enormous pressure that Michigan just placed on him for rest of his youth football and high school football careers. And I think this is awesome for Michigan, too. Some people may say that 7th grade is too early to offer a kid a full scholarship. And in most cases, I would agree. But if you watched any Michigan football games this season, you would know that landing a 7th grade level quarterback would be a huge upgrade for them at the position.