Ed Orgeron was “very disappointed” following LSU’s loss to Missouri as the Tigers fell to 1-2 to open the 2020 season. He called the result “embarrassing” and said it “needs to be fixed.”
One thing that Orgeron shouldn’t be disappointed about, that isn’t embarrassing and that doesn’t need to be fixed, is Terrace Marshall Jr.’s performance.
The junior wide receiver has been one of the lone bright spots of this season’s poor start. After reigning Biletnikoff award winner Ja’Marr Chase opted out of the season, Marshall rose to the top of the depth chart and became Myles Brennan’s top guy as the quarterback made his first starts since he was a high school senior.
“Our connection is great,” Brennan said about Marshall. “It’s really just a testament to our hard work he and I have put in.”
The strong connection is most obvious in the big plays, as Marshall averages over 20 yards per catch.
Marshall finished the Missouri game with 11 catches, 235 yards and three touchdowns. Those totals are the fourth-most yards and tied for the sixth-most touchdowns in a single game by any LSU player ever.
Through the first three games, Marshall has 21 catches, 424 yards and seven touchdowns, good for an 11-game pace of 77 catches, 1,554 yards and 25 touchdowns. This would shatter his goal of 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns, which he said he set for himself prior to the season.
LSU, with Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White, has consistently produced Pro-Bowl caliber NFL defensive backs in recent years and has earned the nickname ‘DBU.’ With Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, D.J. Chark and Justin Jefferson already dominating the pros and Chase on the way as well, the same could now be said for the wide receiver position.
Can Marshall join these receivers and become the next great pass catcher from Baton Rouge? Marshall’s hot start this season has him rising up draft boards, and experts say we shouldn’t be surprised to see him join Chase to hear his name called in round one.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic said that Marshall “absolutely” has a chance to be drafted in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.
“Not only does he have an ideal body type with growth potential,” Brugler said. “But he understands how to use every inch of his frame, easily adjusting to throws and plucking the ball.”
ProFootballFocus’ Mike Renner said he likes Marshall’s big frame and was impressed with his speed, too.
“He gets off the line of scrimmage fast. He’s a downfield threat at that size,” Renner said.
Whichever NFL team eventually selects Marshall, it’ll be getting an incredibly hard worker. Despite LSU’s slow start, Marshall’s mindset is one of optimism.
“My job as a leader is just to keep everyone going,” he said following the loss to Missouri. “I mean, the world’s not perfect. Mistakes happen.”
“We all need to work a little harder…do what it takes to be great…we just got to be aggressive and attack everyday like it’s our last.”