LSU's Terrace Marshall Jr. Opts out of 2020 Season to Prepare for 2021 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2020

LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. (6) against Arkansas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Michael Woods/Associated Press

LSU's season is going nowhere fast following a 3-4 start, and wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. decided it is time to focus on the next step.

On Sunday, Marshall announced he will opt out of the remainder of the campaign and focus on preparing for the 2021 NFL draft.

"Since a kid, to play in the NFL and to retire my parents has been my #1 mission," he wrote in a lengthy message. "After careful consideration but with faith, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL draft."

Terrace Marshall Jr. @Terracemjr

M2B. https://t.co/UxG7n1VI6Y

Marshall has been a rare bright spot for the defending champions this season.

He has 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns after hauling in 13 touchdown catches last year for a much stronger team. The junior is a matchup nightmare for opposing cornerbacks with the size at 6'3" to come down with jump balls and the speed to beat press coverage and make tacklers miss in the open field.

That combination helped him explode for 235 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a breakout game against Missouri in October, which surely caught the attention of NFL scouts.

One NFL comparison may turn heads as well, as ESPN's Dan Orlovsky saw some Michael Thomas in Marshall's game.

"He reminds me a lot of Michael Thomas, because he's phenomenal with his route running off the line of scrimmage," Orlovsky said (h/t Robbie Weinstein of 247Sports). "It's a combination of a really talented young man who works really hard and understands the offense."

While Marshall is not as highly regarded as fellow LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who opted out before the season began, he will have an opportunity to work up draft boards during the NFL Scouting Combine and predraft workouts.

Chase was No. 4 in Bleacher Report's Matt Miller's latest mock draft, while Marshall was not projected as a first-rounder.

Things don't get any easier for LSU after Marshall's departure, as it faces national championship contenders Alabama and Florida in its next two games.