Terrace Marshall Jr. says LSU's offense even 'better than what I imagined'

Sophomore on pace to shatter school records

Amos Morale III
September 19, 2019 - 1:28 pm
LSU Tigers wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. (6) makes a touchdown reception against the Texas Longhorns in the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Ronald Cortes-USA TODAY Sports

Terrace Marshall Jr.’s senior season of high school football was derailed when he suffered a severe leg injury in his team’s second game. 

However, that injury derailed more than just his final year of prep football. It also put him behind the curve when he arrived at LSU.

“He came in and struggled a little bit because he wasn’t in as good of shape because he wasn’t recovered,” Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron said.

Although Marshall received snaps in every game of his freshman season, he didn’t look like the player who was ranked the No.1 receiver prospect coming out of high school and tallied just 12 catches for 192 yards.

But as his freshman year progressed, so did he. And Terrace Marshall Sr. said his son was feeling more and more like himself toward the end of that season.

“The world wasn’t able to see it yet,” Marshall Sr. said.

But the 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver is certainly showing the world, now, as he’s currently leading the nation with six touchdown receptions and helping No. 4 LSU to a 3-0 record. 

His teammates already knew he was back in form since this summer. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow recalled the moment he noticed a change in the Shreveport native’s play. Over the summer, Burrow and the LSU receivers were throwing and Marshall ran a go-route that got opened his QB’s eyes. 

“I couldn’t get it to him,” Burrow said. “And I was like ‘Terrace, I’ve never seen you run that fast in my life. Just run it like that every single time.’”

Burrow hasn’t missed many of his throws, overall, this season, but when targeting Marshall the results have been particularly fruitful. He’s currently second on the team with 16 catches for 229 yards to go along with his league-leading six touchdowns.

“He’s just kind of popping open for me,” Burrow said. “On scramble drills, broken plays… he just seems to always be in the right place at the right time.”

Marshall was in the right place at the right time this past Saturday when he “took” a touchdown grab from tight end Stephon Sullivan. Sullivan was Burrow’s intended target on a second half touchdown pass but the ball wound up in Marshall’s hands. Marshall said the two joked about the play after but said he was just blessed to be in position to haul in not only that score, but to be posting the numbers he has this season.

“It’s all just a blessing from God,” He said. “You know, all the work I put in and he’s just blessing me with the opportunities and I’m just taking advantage of it.”

Some of those opportunities were spurred when LSU brought in a new passing game coordinator, Joe Brady, and changed their offense ahead of this season. Marshall’s father said he knew the changed meant big things for his son.

“I was always asking him ‘Man, what do you think?’ And he said ‘This offense… it’s for me.” 

But even Marshall Jr. couldn’t have predicted the success the Tigers would have. This year’s LSU team is on pace to shatter many school records including total passing yards in a season as well as touchdowns.

“I envisioned us having good success on the offensive side,” Marshall Jr. said. “But it’s definitely better than what I imagined.”

Even his season opener took him by surprise. In the Tigers 55-3 win against Georgia Southern, Marshall caught three touchdown passes in the second quarter alone.

“I didn’t expect it,” He said. “I just went out there and played my part and turned out it was good results.”  

Marshall’s parents, who were going crazy in the stands during the season opener, said he never complained during his freshman year and was patient. His father also said they knew he was capable of this type of production.

Marshall Jr. said he’s just happy to be able to contribute to the team.

“It was a relief just going out there knowing that I was 100 percent,” he said. “Knowing that I could just do everything to the best of my ability.”

Marshall Jr. is on pace to double former LSU receiver Dwayne Bowe’s record of 12 touchdown catches in a single season but he’s not the only receiver posting big numbers through the first three games. Junior Justin Jefferson is on pace to haul in nearly 1,500 yards receiving and sophomore Ja’Marr Chase is on pace to come close to 1,000 yards as well.

Marshall said he the receiving corps are simply following the motto of passing game coordinator Joe Brady: everybody eats.  

“He really stood on that quote,” Marshall said. “So everybody does eat and everybody did eat and everybody’s going to continue to eat.” 

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