Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh offers football scholarship to seventh-grade quarterback

Detroit Free Press (TNS)
Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh has made a scholarship offer to a seventh-grade quarterback. AP FILE PHOTO
  • Jim Harbaugh has offered a scholarship to a seventh-grade quarterback.
  • The Michigan head coach made the offer to Isaiah Marshall, who is 13 years old.
  • Marshall, of Southfield, Michigan, is the son of an ex-Northwestern running back.

Jim Harbaugh was in Southfield, Michigan, 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 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.”

Brian Marshall is an assistant at Southfield A&T with his brother, Aaron, who is the program’s offensive coordinator.

Isaiah comes from a family that is well versed in how the scholarship process works, as Brian was recruited out of high school to play football and Isaiah’s mother, Yolanda, was a college basketball player at DePaul.

Believed to be youngest player to get such an offer: Programs like Michigan have offered scholarships to eighth graders in recent years. But Marshall, a member of the class of 2024, is the believed to be the youngest player to get this type of offer this quickly.

It may be a lot to handle, though Brian says he and the family do their best to keep everything grounded. Brian controls his son’s Twitter account and keeps him off social media.

“He’s pretty laid back and humble, we keep a controlled environment for the most part,” Brian 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.

“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.”

The celebration for the Marshalls tonight?

Maybe some pizza and sleep.

“He had midterms today at school, training afterwards, he’s at basketball practice. He’s probably worn out,” Brian said with a chuckle. “So maybe we’ll grab some pizza and some wings and enjoy that.”