Isaiah Marshall, a seventh-grade quarterback at MacArthur Academy in Southfield, Michigan, has been offered a scholarship to play at Michigan, according to his father, Brian.
Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh extended the offer after watching tape of the 13-year-old signal-caller while visiting the school searching for high school prospects at Southfield High. Brian Marshall coaches running backs along with his brother, Aaron, who also is the offensive coordinator at Southfield.
“It was definitely unexpected, especially when you’re just looking for feedback on how to get better,” Brian Marshall said. “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.”
The family has had other college programs take note of Isaiah, as he typically works out with the high school team, but none has offered a scholarship outside of Michigan.
Because of Isaiah’s age, the family was shocked by the offer and excited at the opportunity.
Brian Marshall admits he was even excited just to be talking to Harbaugh on the phone about his son, let alone that Harbaugh was telling him that Isaiah had a scholarship to Michigan.
— Isaiah Marshall (@ZekeMarshall07) January 15, 2019
“It was definitely a surreal moment, like this is for real,” Marshall said. “I was really happy for him and all his teammates, because he’s been playing with the same kids since he was 5 or 6 years old. They have some national championships, they finished third in the country last year, and all those kids work hard to allow him to look how he looks.
“He couldn’t do it without those guys who bust their butt every day. All his teammates reached out and were excited for him.”
That Isaiah received an offer so early was the surprising part, but that he is receiving an offer to play college athletics is nothing new to the family.
Brian Marshall played high school football at Brother Rice in Birmingham, Michigan, and eventually played at Northwestern, winning a Big Ten championship in 2000.
Aaron Marshall also played at Brother Rice before transferring to Mount Carmel in Chicago, and he was recruited by Jim Tressel to play at Youngstown State.
Lawrence Marshall, Brian and Aaron’s cousin, played defensive line at Michigan, finishing his fifth year in 2018. Isaiah’s mother was a Division I basketball player at DePaul, and her father played football at Illinois. Brian and Aaron’s father played football at Detroit, and their cousin, Robert Thomas, played for the Dallas Cowboys for five years.
Athletic ability and talent has been spread deep throughout this family, and it continues with Isaiah.
Because Isaiah has been around sports and athletics his whole life, his father said that Isaiah has taken the news of the scholarship in stride and understands he needs to stay focused on his goals.
An offer from the University of Michigan could very easily cause a seventh-grader to float among the clouds, but Isaiah’s father said his son knows there’s still a lot of work ahead and that this scholarship is not the end of “the process.”
“He doesn’t say a lot as it is — he does his talking with his friends — but he had a big smile,” Brian Marshall said. “He couldn’t believe it for a minute, and I had to bring him back down to earth, as well, say, ‘Hey, this is part of the process, don’t change anything.’ I was dropping him off to his workout, he had basketball practice later, it’s still the same day-to-day taking care of business.
“There’s a long way from now until you’re a senior in high school and a lot of things can change from now until then.”