LSU top receiver Marshall opts out on Alabama week

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU receiving leader Terrace Marshall Jr. has decided to opt out for the rest of this season, leaving the Tigers without their leading receiver on the week they’re scheduled to host No. 1 Alabama.

Marshall, a junior, was one of three highly regarded college players to declare for the draft Sunday with a social media post, along with Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi and Florida State defensive back Asante Samuel Jr.

“Since a kid, to play in the NFL and to retire my parents has been my No. 1 mission,” Marshall wrote. “After careful consideration, but with faith, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL draft.”

Marshall has caught 48 passes this season for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games.

His final catch came on LSU’s lone touchdown near the end of a 20-7 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday night. He had 10 catches for 134 yards against the Aggies.

Cosmi, a fourth-year junior, also said he would forgo the rest of the season. Texas (5-3) has two games left, but it is out of the Big 12 title race.

It was unclear if Samuel, a junior, would play the rest of Florida State’s season. The Seminoles have had their last two games postponed by COVID-19 issues.

While Marshall’s departure will make LSU (3-4) less competitive this season, coach Ed Orgeron has already begun showing signs of accelerating the rebuilding process that essentially began when 14 players from the 2019 national championship team were selected in the 202 NFL draft.

LSU freshman tight end Arik Gilbert is second on the team in receiving and freshman receiver Kayshon Bouttee is fourth.

Marshall’s departure also is expected to create more opportunities for freshman receiver Koy Moore.

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