7th-Grade QB Gets Scholarship Offer from Michigan


No one is quite sure if Jim Harbaugh will still be in Ann Arbor come 2020, but the Michigan Wolverines are already preparing for the 2024 season.

Michigan has extended a scholarship offer to Isaiah Marshall, who is currently a seventh-grader at MacArthur Academy in Southfield, Michigan.

This news comes courtesy of Isaiah’s father, Brian, who coaches running backs at Southfield High School.

Harbaugh was visiting the high school and searching for prospects when he came across the 13-year-old Isaiah, and seeing him play was enough for Harbaugh to offer him a scholarship.

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“It was definitely unexpected, especially when you’re just looking for feedback on how to get better,” Brian Marshall told ESPN. “That came out of it. Harbaugh called me, because I was on my way over there and he was there early with my brother. They called me on the phone and asked if that was OK, and of course I said yes.”

At 13, Isaiah is the youngest player to ever receive a scholarship offer from Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“(Harbaugh) said he was the youngest (to ever receive and offer),” Brian Marshall said. “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.”

Isaiah usually works out with the high school team, and because of that he’s crept onto other college programs’ radars. But Michigan was the first to make an offer to a kid who won’t graduate for another five years.

Isaiah comes from an athletic family.

His father played football at Northwestern and won a Big Ten Championship there in 2000, and his mother, Yolanda, was a college basketball player at DePaul.

Isaiah’s uncle, Aaron, was recruited by Jim Tressel to play football at Youngstown State.

He also has numerous other relatives who have competed in Division I athletics, including his cousin, Robert Thomas, who was Emmitt Smith’s fullback with the Dallas Cowboys from 1998 to 2002.

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Even with all of this attention and notoriety coming to a 13-year-old, Isaiah doesn’t let it get to his head, in part because his father controls his social media activity.

“He’s pretty laid back and humble; we keep a controlled environment for the most part,” Brian Marshall said. “He’s pretty grounded. My brothers and I have all played Division I football, we’ve been there. We have experience on our side. We control the social media thing.

Will Jim Harbaugh still be at Michigan by the time Isaiah Marshall enrolls?

“But I still remember the (recruiting) process. And we coach the kids through it now. He grew up watching Sam Johnson play high school and youth ball, he was the first middle school kid in Michigan to get an offer. So he’s seen the process. He’s not your normal kid when it comes to the distraction factor.”

Scouting sites like 247 Sports don’t have rankings for the 2024 class, but Michigan is doing pretty well for itself in the meantime.

The Wolverines have the No. 8 overall class for 2019 (tops in Big Ten) and the No. 11 overall class for 2020 (second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State).

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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