LSU is and has been welcoming a slew of notable visitors onto campus this week before fall camp gets underway on Monday and the NCAA’s Dead Period follows on Aug. 1.
Perhaps the biggest visitor to date has been Terrace Marshall Jr., the No. 1 wide receiver the Class of 2018 and No. 1 recruit from the state of Louisiana.
Marshall spent a good chunk of Thursday back in Baton Rouge with his parents and sister for the second time in as many months and just a few weeks removed from naming the Tigers as one of his four finalists. This time around, the 5-star wide receiver had one goal in mind: continuing to develop his relationship with the LSU coaching staff.
“You know, it’s always getting better. Every time I go up there, they show more and more love,” Marshall told SEC Country on Friday. “Each time I visit, I get to know them more and more and I get more comfortable around them. The more comfortable I get, the better.
“Coach O is a very personable man, a great man. Coach [Mickey] Joseph, our relationship is developing and we can relate to each other, so that’s building up. Coach [Matt] Canada, we talk often and our relationship is building. Overall, it [the relationship with the LSU staff] is at a high rate. It’s not up there yet, but we still got time.”
LSU’s pitch centers around relationships, not football
Marshall is the nation’s No. 9 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite ranking. So it’s no wonder why LSU is putting the full-court press on the 5-star wide receiver and his entire family.
The Tigers will lose their top receiver, D.J. Chark, after the 2017 season and will need to replenish the depth chart to replace No. 7. Marshall is their top target to fill that void.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect from Northern Louisiana won’t make a decision until Dec. 22, the final day of the three-day early signing period recently instituted by the NCAA. That date was scheduled for a reason. Marshall is going to be keeping close tabs on how LSU’s offense will look under Canada this fall.
Until then, he wants to ensure his relationships with the members of the staff are in line.
“They know that I’m waiting for the season to see what they’re going to do,” Marshall said. “So when I go there, it’s about getting to know each other. We’re not talking about football because there’s nothing else that they can tell me. They know that I’m waiting on the season and we just have to develop our relationships.
“I learned that they are really people persons. They’re going to coach you hard and they’re going to make you better every day. I like that and that’s why they’re in the mix.”
The LSU coaching staff is not only working to enhance their relationship with the elite wide receiver but his parents, too.
Terrace Marshall Sr. and Meoshia Brazzle accompanied their son to Baton Rouge for the second consecutive visit and also received the 5-star treatment from the staff. Both of Marshall’s parents are playing significant roles in their son’s recruitment and ensuring that he is confident when he makes a decision in less than five months.
“They love LSU, so every time we go there they feel the love, too,” Marshall said. “They just want the best for me and they want me to choose wherever I want to go.”
How supportive is his family? All will relocate to the city of the college that Marshall chooses in December. They are open and willing to move wherever and whenever to be helping hands.
“My family, my mom and my dad and my sister are all going to move,” Marshall said. “They just want to stay close.”
Next up: Officials
Marshall’s visit to LSU on July 27 will be his final unofficial stop of the summer.
The Under Armour All-American will shift his focus away from his recruitment and back onto his senior season at Parkway (La.) High School and the road toward a Class 5A state championship. High school practices kick off next week.
Marshall’s next visits will all be officials. He and his family are currently dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on a few of the dates. His four finalists — LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Miami — are all guaranteed to host the 5-star wide receiver for an official this fall.
Additionally, Marshall is set on taking a fifth official visit. Three teams — TCU, Alabama and Florida State — are all in the mix for securing a visit. He plans on releasing the five schools and the dates of those critical stops in the next few days.
“You know, I’ve narrowed down my top schools and I’ve been visiting all of the schools that I need to visit,” Marshall explained. “I haven’t let everyone know where I’ve been going, but I let people know that I went back to LSU. I’m just visiting schools and planning everything and taking it all slow.
“This was my last visit before school starts. I’ll go back to school and make my visits during the season, and those will be official visits. I’m still figuring it out and should be releasing dates soon. There’s going to be a fifth, but I haven’t figured out the fifth team yet.”