LSU football: Terrace Marshall Jr. opts out of season

As if things can’t get more troubling for LSU football this year, wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has made the decision to opt out of the remainder of the season to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

On Sunday Nov. 29, Marshall made the announcement on Twitter.

“Since a kid, to play in the NFL and to retire my parents has always been my No. 1 mission. After careful consideration but with faith, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.”

This news was very unexpected for head coach Ed Orgeron, but he respects Marshall’s decision. The two of them have actually had a very close relationship over the years because Orgeron played football with Marshall’s uncle Joe Delaney at Northwestern State.

“Terrace and I have a great relationship,” Orgeron said. “It was a little different between a player and a coach, it’s almost like family so he came and talked to me like a man, explained his decision and I respected his decision. We wish him the very best and I know he’s gonna have a great career in the NFL.”

The impact on LSU

Even though there are only a few games left for the Tigers, Marshall’s absence certainly affects the team, especially against Alabama this coming weekend. Afterall, Marshall is currently ranked third in the SEC in receiving yards per game.

Just this season, Marshall leads the Tigers with 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns. These stats are from a total of seven games, so to say he will be missed is an understatement. Anyone who knows him knows he has a lot of talent, and it will be difficult for anyone to fill his shoes.

Who will take his place?

In place of Marshall, LSU does have a lot of options to choose from. One of the top choices for Orgeron seems to be freshman tight end Arik Gilbert. He stated Gilbert is an outstanding player and he would like to move him out to receiver.

When it comes to wide receivers, there are a handful of good players. LSU has seniors Jontre Kirklin and Racey McMath, sophomore Jaray Jenkins and freshmen Kayshon Boutte and Koy Moore.

McMath still seems to be out with a hamstring injury, but Kirklin is a great option for this weekend’s game against Alabama. Kirklin is the veteran of the group, and he has a lot of talent that needs to be seen.

Orgeron would also really like to give Boutte and Moore a shot at establishing themselves for the 2021 football season before incoming freshmen take their spots.

He has a lot of faith in these two young players and said, “We’ve got a lot of guys who are hungrier to catch the ball and I think that the next man up is going to prove they’re very good receivers.”

While Marshall will be missed, he has a very promising future ahead of him in the NFL. He has had an incredible career with LSU football, and it is exciting to see how far his talent will take him.