Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss the legacy that Terrace Marshall Jr. is creating. Marshall, the No. 1 wide receiver in the Class of 2018, is down to LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama and Florida State. His parents break down the biggest X-factors in his Dec. 22 decision.
Terrace Marshall Jr. continuing his great uncle’s legacy
SHREVEPORT, La. — When it comes to the nation’s top-ranked wide receiver, nothing comes by accident. Everything is meant to be.
That includes adversity.
In the hours following SEC Country’s interview with Terrace Marshall Jr.’s parents last Friday night, the 5-star wide receiver hit the turf with what turned out to be a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle. The All-American and No. 8 overall player in the Class of 2018 in the 247Sports composite is now out upward of eight weeks.
Such hardships can be deemed tragic and, at times, even unforgiving. But it’s all a part of the process for Marshall’s family.
For context, tweets from Marshall, his mother, father and teammates are complemented by #M2B — meant to be. It’s the overlying philosophy that the wide receiver lives by and is using to pick a university in three months on Dec. 22.
It all traces back to former NFL running back Joe Delaney.
Delaney is Marshall’s great-uncle on his mother’s side of the family. On June 29, 1983, a 24-year-old Delaney died in North Louisiana while attempting to rescue three children drowning in a water hole created by local construction work. Delaney could not swim, but that did not deter the NFL talent from putting the children’s lives ahead of his own. Unfortunately, he traded his own life to try to save three others.
Marshall was born 17 years after Delaney died. Because of the family’s ties, Marshall’s father decided to instill the bravery and selflessness of Delaney into his newborn child. Over the last 17 years, meant to be has become a way of life for the 5-star wide receiver and his family, using those three words to handle adversity and make even the most arduous choices.
“God gave it to me,” Terrace Marshall Sr. told SEC Country on Friday at Battle on the Border, moments before his son’s injury. “It really started when Terrace was born. His uncle, Joe Delaney, when I heard about his story it was like God touches my heart. He drowned trying to save those kids and God showed me that I was going to raise Terrace up to follow in his footsteps.”
“With Terrace, his [Delaney’s] legacy continues. He knows that God has laid the foundation and has placed him on this journey,” Marshall’s mother, Meoshia Brazzle, told SEC Country. “We constantly tell him, no matter what happens in life, it all ties together and that everything is just meant to be.”
So when Marshall sustained a serious leg injury during the second game of his senior season at Parkway (La.) High School, no 17-year-old wide receiver was better suited to deal with the outcome.
The same logic applies to his college decision.
Marshall, who possesses a 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, revised his top 4 schools to a final 5 of LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama and Florida State earlier this fall. He doesn’t consider himself a lean in any particular direction and provides little in the way of hints to either his mother or his father when they inquire.
Marshall has penciled in a Dec. 22 decision date squarely in the middle of the early signing period so that he can commit and sign his letter of intent before participating in the Under Armour All-America Game and enroll at his university of choice a week later.
With three months standing in the way of a decision, Marshall has remained unfazed by team or pressure. After all, his whole life has centered around a greater message from above. That same message will dictate whether he’ll say “Geaux Tigers,” “Roll Tide,” “Go Noles,” “Gig ‘Em” or “Hook ‘Em.”
“We taught him to be a leader,” Brazzle said. “Don’t go here because such and such is here. Make your own decision, make your own choice. Don’t just go where you’re wanted or follow the hype; go where you’re needed. If you follow the hype, you can get outside of doing something that’s meant to be. He needs to be calm, remain humble and ride it out, and at the end of the day, he’ll make the right decision.”
Why LSU and Ed Orgeron have stood out
Every day, Brazzle asks her son if he has a leader.
Every day, she receives a similar response.
Marshall has refused to name a leading school at any juncture in his recruitment. The nation’s No. 1 wide receiver boasts around 30 offers. His mother and his father have taken a step back as he focuses in on the final group of schools.
Marshall and his family have made several visits to Baton Rouge in recent months. They took in “Boys From The Boot” and returned a month later for junior day and a Saturday scrimmage. They attended LSU’s spring game and met with the coaching staff in June ahead of his initial release of his top 4 schools. Their last visit came at the end of July right before the dead period where the conversations remained on family and not football.
Relationship building has been essential to Marshall’s recruiting process. He said as much after that July visit, a sentiment echoed by his parents.
“The relations at LSU are awesome. I wouldn’t take anything away from it or add anything,” Brazzle explained. “One thing I would say about them, as a mom and Terrace being my first born and I would hate to see him go anywhere, is that they made me feel confident that if he was to choose LSU I know he would be OK. One thing they do, they always keep in contact. If I can depend on hearing from someone, it would be someone from LSU.”
LSU’s charge is being led by an array of different coaches. Area recruiter Steve Ensminger and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph are both involved. As is the head man, Ed Orgeron, who is working tirelessly to keep Louisiana’s No. 1 prospect in the state.
Orgeron’s Louisiana-first approach has caught the attention of both Marshall and his parents. So has his brute honesty. As the family keys in on the offensive production and D.J. Chark this fall, they are also intrigued by the 20 freshmen that have seen the field the first two Saturdays of the season.
“Coach O, he recruits. Man, he recruits. He puts the ‘recruit’ in recruit,” a laughing Marshall Sr. said. “You can see the way that the freshmen they brought in have played. That’s the first time that we’ve seen anything like that. I’m sure he told those freshmen that they’d see the field and they had a chance. Everything has been unfolding right before our eyes with Coach O. It’s a good thing right now for LSU and their recruiting.”
“They have kept it real,” Marshall’s mother added. “They don’t sugarcoat and they don’t tell us stuff to tickle our ears or make us feel good. I feel, as a parent, that everything they have been saying has been honest and up front.”
With so little known about the junior Marshall’s thinking, college coaches are recruiting his parents just as hard as they are him. So mom and dad have a taste of what he’s going through at the moment.
When asked where LSU stands as of Sept. 9, his father mustered up the following response …
“By being the in-state school, it would be on point.”
Picking a school that’s ‘meant to be’ on Dec. 22
Time is ticking on Marshall’s decision.
LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M are all going to host the 5-star wide receiver for official visits this fall. All of the official visits have been scheduled and the family will release those dates to the public in the near future.
So how will one of them land Marshall’s commitment? By appealing to his meant to be philosophy. At the moment, Marshall remains undecided. He’s waiting on a sign to point him in one direction before Dec. 22.
“Something is going to hit him from above,” Brazzle explained. “We want him to go somewhere where they treat him the same way that we do … I ask him daily if he knows where’s going and he says he really doesn’t know. He wants to ride this out and take his time, but he doesn’t realize time is running out. He’s so humble about the whole process. That’s how we know it’s about God and it’s meant to be — for a kid to be in the spotlight like he is and for him to remain humble in this process at 17, that says a lot.”
What we do know is that wherever Marshall winds up committing to on the Friday before Christmas, he has big shoes to fill.
Delaney left a lasting legacy. Thus far, Marshall has owned it. But as tweets and Friday night attire suggests, there’s an inevitable next step in his journey. Whether it’s LSU or another school in his top 5, the decision will certainly be made for a reason.
The way that Marshall has carried himself throughout his recruitment, odds are it will be a special moment to take in.
“He’s so calm about it if you ask him he’s like, ‘Don’t worry!'” his father said. “Everything has been lining up since was 5 years old. It’s been in order for him. When he picks his college, I feel it’s going to be the right place. When he gets there, he’s going to do great things, be successful and finish out the legacy of Joe Delaney.
“When the time comes, he knows he’ll make the right decision. Sometimes, we just say, ‘That kid is different.’ Nothing fades him … it’s like it’s meant to be.”
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