The decision to transfer to Grambling from Mississippi State for defensive lineman Terry Mareus was the biggest and hardest decision of his life and one that affected more than just his football life — it affected his whole life.
When transferring to another athletic program you now are introducing yourself to a whole new culture including atmosphere, slang and even style.
It may not seem like a big deal, but as a football player your social life off the field is vital. If you cannot adjust or fit in then you will struggle mentally because you will start to develop what Mareus calls the "robot feeling" where it feels like all you do is eat, sleep and practice.
Transferring comes with a lot of complications.
Mareus said prior to transferring he went over the decision with his family multiple times because he knew he family was going to want to see him play.
With Mareus being from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. transferring from Mississippi State in Starksville, Miss. to North Louisiana wasn't really a big difference travel time wise, but when Mareus came to visit the more rural campus at Grambling he got lost.
"It was very hectic coming out here on my visit because we aren't familiar with the area, and Ruston is very dark at night with a lot of backroads so we got lost plenty times even using the GPS," Mareus said.
Once settled, the weather took Mareus for a surprise.
Louisiana's heat and humidity is second to none so it can definitely affect a player's performance on the field.
"It was a rude awakening my first summer workout session. It was six in the morning so I was thinking no way it's gonna be hot. But I was very wrong the humidity was so thick it was very difficult to breathe while just standing let alone running. I couldn't even finish that first day I fell to a knee while running i just couldn't go anymore and I just wasn't used to it, but over the next couple workouts my body finally adjusted," Mareus said.
Being the new recruit from a "Big Time SEC School" comes with a lot of pressure even only being a sophomore your still expected to live up to the hype.
"I was very nervous my first week here, it felt like everyone was watching to see what I could do an then with people coming up to me saying 'oh you're the guy from Mississippi state right' just brought a sense of pressure on me that since i came from a big school. I am expected to dominate from day one or that I can't mess up," Mareus said.
Having to that kind of pressure on your mind as a young guy can take a toll on your mental and may also affect your play on the field. However, Mareus has powered through it and started making a name for himself on the team with his impressive technique in pass rush drills.