Southfield's Marshall Has More History-Making in Mind as Senior Season Revs Up

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

August 31, 2023

SOUTHFIELD – No matter what Southfield Arts & Technology senior quarterback Isaiah Marshall accomplishes from here on out in football, he can claim one distinction not even many all-time greats have achieved.

Greater DetroitWhen Marshall was in seventh grade, he got a college scholarship offer from a Power 5 college program.

Yes, you read that correctly. He was in seventh grade.

While University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was at the school to scout another player from Southfield A&T at the time, Marshall’s father Brian and uncle Aaron gave Harbaugh a tape of Isaiah’s highlights up through his seventh-grade year.

That was good enough for Harbaugh, who offered Marshall a scholarship then despite his youth.

“I was surprised because getting an offer wasn’t on my mind when I was in seventh grade,” Marshall said.

So, that was the beginning point of Marshall’s courtship to play college football. It hasn’t stopped since, and now the question is whether it will continue all the way up to signing day in December.

Starting his last year of high school, Marshall – also known as “Zeke” – has established himself as arguably the best quarterback in the history of any Southfield program, and certainly one of the best dual-threat signal callers in the state.

Marshall might be committed to Kansas and plans to enroll in January after this Southfield A&T semester is done, but odds are good that won’t stop other programs from continuing to pursue him, especially if he has the big senior season many expect.

“There are still some coaches that talk to the head coach of my school,” he said. “But I personally haven’t talked to any.”

Marshall (97) works with his offense during a practice earlier this month.Last year as a junior, Marshall threw for 2,571 yards and 27 touchdowns and ran for 1,065 yards and 18 scores as Southfield A&T finished 8-3 and won the Oakland Activities Association White championship.

Marshall’s coach is his uncle, Aaron Marshall, who obviously could see seeds of greatness being planted in his nephew from a young age.

“As he grew up and grew older and training him, he really kind of embraced everything,” Aaron Marshall said. “He was always a really good listener. He was always mild-mannered (and) had signs of someone who wanted to do something, not really being forced to do it. As a kid, you definitely saw some foreshadowing that he had something special because of his focus and attention at such a young age.”

His senior year got off to a great start Saturday, when he went 15 of 25 for 210 yards and three touchdowns passing and rushed for 80 yards and the game-winning score in a 29-27 Southfield A&T win over Detroit Cass Tech.

Marshall rushed for the clinching touchdown with 54 seconds remaining, a 16-yard scamper to the end zone on a 4th-and-5 play.

“If I have a hole, I’m going to take it,” Isaiah Marshall said. “Just like that last play when I scored, I told myself that if I had a hole, I was going to take it.”

While he is a major problem for defenses when he runs, Marshall is actually trying to improve his ability as a pocket passer this year as he prepares for college.

“Just staying in the pocket more, staying balanced, staying consistent and making great reads,” he said. “I’ve tried to do less (running) and try to get the ball to my receivers more. But at the end of the day, I’m going to try and do what I have to in order to help my team win.”

Marshall, the son of past Northwestern University player and Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice standout Brian Marshall, has grown up around Southfield A&T football – Brian is among Aaron Marshall's assistants – and has seen many good teams and future college players come through the program. 

But the Warriors have never advanced to a state championship game, and making program history is obviously a major motivation.

“We have 29 seniors, so I think that’s a big part of what we can do this year,” he said.

Given how he’s watched Isaiah grow up physically and in the game, Aaron Marshall knows if anyone can lead the Warriors to history, it’s his nephew.

“He’s even more vocal now as a senior,” he said. “Kids really latch on to him because of his work ethic. He wants the best for everybody, and he’s such a team guy. When he speaks, they really pay attention.”

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) Isaiah Marshall (red jersey) is off to another fast start as a senior this fall for Southfield A&T. (Middle) Marshall (97) works with his offense during a practice earlier this month. (Photos by Ricardo Thornton/RT Studios.)

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.