There's been no mental change for LSU receiver Terrace Marshall since the departure of teammate and friend Ja'Marr Chase. The goals have remained the same for him no matter if he's the No. 1 or No. 2 receiver on the depth chart.
He expects a breakout season and a fully healthy year could help him accomplish the lofty goals he has set for himself. Though he believes he's being overlooked this season as an upper echelon college football receiver, Marshall wants his play to do the talking for him.
Meeting with media members on Tuesday, Marshall talked about the added weight that is now put on his shoulders as the No. 1 guy, taking over an historic offense a season ago.
"For me personally it wasn't a mental shift, I've always been locked in before he [Chase] left," Marshall said. "That's just the culture around here, we're always locked in and ready to go so I'm ready to take on whatever responsibility I gotta take on and I'm prepared."
Last year his numbers were impressive as 13 touchdowns on 46 receptions is no easy task. If it weren't for a four game absence due to a fractured foot in the middle of his season, there's a strong chance he would've put up even better numbers. His goals for this season were something he talked about a month or so ago on the Hey Fightin' Podcast, 20 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards receiving.
Staying healthy and improving as a blocker were two other goals Marshall set for himself in what will likely be his final season at LSU.
"I've been in the training room every day making sure everything is right before we get ready for the season," Marshall said. "We've been doing individual drills and that's [blocking] been one thing I've really focused on this year."
A big component of him having that kind of success on the field will be largely based on his chemistry with quarterback Myles Brennan. Marshall said the development between the receivers and Brennan is strong and building in practice on a daily basis.
"Myles has been great, our chemistry with me and him and the receivers has been great," Marshall said. "We've been clicking in practice and I'm really looking forward to see how well we're going to click in the game."
With the departure of Chase, LSU will be relying on younger, inexperienced players this season behind veterans Marshall and Racey McMath. The player who will earn plenty of additional reps after winning the No. 3 receiver job is freshman Kayshon Boutte.
The highly touted New Iberia prospect has taken a big step forward in practice since Chase's departure and Marshall says it's no surprise to him that Boutte has picked up the offense so quickly because that's what's expected of him.
"Kayshon has come along great since coming here, that's just what we expect out of freshmen here at LSU," Marshall said. "When you come in, you want to get the ball right away. Those are the type of guys we recruit so it's no surprise."
Of course fellow freshmen Arik Gilbert has grabbed a lot of the offseason headlines but Marshall's first impression was hand in hand with what a lot of players and coaches have said in recent weeks as well.
"My first impression was that he's eye candy," Marshall said. "He's 6-foot-5 but he's a freak of nature and I'm very excited to see him on the field."
With so much roster turnover there's a question as to how explosive this offense can be and if that'll affect the way the games are called this season. LSU players and coaches have repeatedly said that the offense will remain unchanged.
The addition of Scott Linehan to replace Joe Brady as passing game coordinator was one of those decisions that adds a new element to the offense. The DNA of the offense hasn't changed according to Marshall, who couldn't be more excited to show fans there won't be the significant dropoff that is expected.
"This year's offense is just as fun as last year's offense," Marshall said. "Obviously Scott Linehan is a really experienced guy so he came in and he's going to get us right. I'm looking forward to showing the world what we can do.
"Other teams know what we're going to do but at the end of the day, are they going to be able to stop it?" Marshall asked. "We may have some tweaks but I don't think anyone's gonna be able to stop us."
The Sept. 26 matchup against Mississippi State will be the first test this offense faces and Marshall is making sure to assume a leadership with the team now that he's one of five returning starters from a season ago.
"I'm real excited, I'm looking forward to the season," Marshall said. "It can't come fast enough, we just taking it one day at a time. I've been looking to be one of the leaders of the team, not just in the receiver room because it goes way beyond that. I try my best to keep my head high and be that example for the younger guys."