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Marqise Lee staying mum on NFL decision

Marqise Lee Getty Images

Thanks to his immense talent level, it’s been a foregone conclusion for more than a year that Marqise Lee would leave USC early for the NFL.  Thanks to myriad nagging injuries in 2013, that thought’s been further cemented in the minds of most draft observers.

For his part, though, Lee is only focused on the here and now at the moment even as an early jump remains inevitable.

Tuesday, the wide receiver told reporters that he hasn’t made a decision yet on returning to the Trojans for another season or making himself available for the April draft.

“I’ve been focusing on trying to leave all the outside stuff out,” Lee said. “Just focus on the weekend and actually getting the job done.”

Lee did not play against Colorado last Saturday, the third complete game he’s missed this season because of various knee and shoulder issues.  He is, though, on track to play against archrival UCLA this weekend.

His first two seasons with the Trojans, Lee totaled 191 receptions and 25 touchdowns, including 118 and 14 in 2012.  Because of the injuries — and Matt Barkley‘s departure — Lee has just 44 catches and two touchdowns.  He’s caught two or fewer passes in three of nine games this season; that had happened just four times in 25 career games entering 2013.

Obviously the coaching staff wants him to return — even as they may not — with Lee’s position coach already getting his pitch to stay lined up.

“My deal for him is, ‘Do do you want to come back and try to see if you want to be a top-five pick?’” receivers coach Tee Martin said. “‘If just being a first-rounder is good for you, then go ahead.”

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11 Responses to “Marqise Lee staying mum on NFL decision”
  1. bucrightoff says: Nov 27, 2013 10:12 AM

    Mike Evans has probably passed him as the first receiver off that board. That said why come back? If he suffers a Marcus Lattimore type injury he’ll lose a lot more.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 27, 2013 11:15 AM

    You know I thought Mike Evans might be the #1 WR off the board but I reading a lot of people say that Sammy Watkins will be the #1 WR.

  3. billmead1976 says: Nov 27, 2013 11:21 AM

    Stay in school and get your education. For all the hype and all the glitz, you are not that good. Undersized, runs poor routes, doesn’t block or decoy particularly well.

    You should expect a 2-3 year career on special teams.

    Join a long line of former Trojan busts in the nfl.

    You do know that the best former Trojan in the nfl now was a walkon?

  4. planck16 says: Nov 27, 2013 11:33 AM

    I believe Sammy Watkins will be the 1st receiver taken also. He is faster and more dynamic than Evans. Sammy can return kicks and punts also.

    Evans is good but Sammy offers more at the NFL level.

  5. mrsmell says: Nov 27, 2013 11:42 AM

    Being athletically gifted is like getting certified. A college degree aint gonna get you a raise, but having experience sure will. If anything, Lee drops to the 2nd. Lee will never be a top 5 pick, not even a top 10. No NFL team is that desperate for a WR, so Tee Martin can just stop telling him lies.

  6. pacific123ocean says: Nov 27, 2013 2:30 PM

    Go to the NFL….you can always go back to school later and earn your degree.

  7. pdcooper08 says: Nov 27, 2013 7:16 PM

    Billmead1976: your simply a hater. You don’t watch SC football that much. Your no evaluator, just a hater. M. Lee probably isn’t the WR out in college, but he’s one of the best. He’ll go first round this year He does work hard and has upside. He’ll be better then M. Williams or D. Jarrett ever where. He has nothing left to prove other the. Spanking ucla this Saturday. M. Lee is a gamer.

  8. Anoesis says: Nov 27, 2013 7:49 PM

    billmead-

    With its outstanding football heritage, it’s no surprise that USC players have made quite a mark in the pros.
    At the start of training camp this summer, there were 53 ex-Trojans on National Football League rosters, including 8 rookies. In fact, USC players were on the rosters of 26 of the NFL’s 32 teams. Most of the Trojans were defensive linemen (11), linebackers (9) and offensive linemen (9), along with defensive backs (7).

    In 2012, there were 44 Trojans on opening day NFL rosters, more than from any other school (since records were available, USC has been No. 1 in 18 of the last 37 years). The Trojans’ 5 offensive tackles and 4 quarterbacks in 2012 were the most of any other school, while it equaled the most of any school at linebacker (8), tight end (5) and defensive tackle (5).

    USC has produced more NFL draft picks (480) than any school (Notre Dame is next with 476), along with 28 picks by the AFL before it merged with the NFL. There have been 462 USC players who since 1920 played in the NFL (or its sister leagues, the AFL or All-America Football Conference).

    USC has had more first round NFL draft picks (77) than any school (Ohio State is next with 69). USC is tied with Notre Dame and Auburn for most players (5) selected as the top pick of the NFL draft (Ron Yary in 1968, O.J. Simpson in 1969, Ricky Bell in 1977, Keyshawn Johnson in 1996 and Carson Palmer in 2003). USC is the only school to have the No. 1 pick for 2 consecutive years (Yary and Simpson).

    USC has had three of the most highly-drafted classes in history. The 1953 class (following the 1952 season) had 15 players drafted while both the 1975 and 1977 classes had 14 players selected. USC had more players selected in the 2011 (9), 2009 (11), 2008 (10), 2006 (11) and 1990 (10) drafts than any school.

    USC had more players drafted than any school in the 10-year period from 2002-11 and 5-year period from 2007-11. USC’s 12 first round picks in the 1990s tied for third most in the nation with Tennessee; 8 of those Trojan first rounders were selected in the Top 10. In the decade of the 1980s, Troy had more first round picks than any school (16). USC’s 5 first round picks in the 1968 draft was an NFL record that lasted 36 years.

    A Trojan has appeared in all but 5 of the 47 Super Bowls (there have been 104 USC representatives overall). Two Trojans (Lynn Swann in 1976 and Marcus Allen in 1984) have been the Super Bowl MVP. In 1977, 9 USC alums played in the Super Bowl. Trojans have been selected to play in the Pro Bowl 218 times.

    Courtesy of The Official Site of USC Trojan Athletics.

    Yeah, what a bunch of overrated bums.

  9. realfootballfan says: Nov 27, 2013 8:58 PM

    8to80texansblog ,

    I think Evans is projected as the first, but I’d personally take Watkins. I think he’s going to translate very well to the pros and will be the best of this class with Lee in it or not.

  10. asimonetti88 says: Nov 27, 2013 10:15 PM

    Anoesis, you win post of the month. Smackdown.

    Lee has the opportunity to be very good in the pros. He may not be a Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant pure domination kind of star, but with his combination of athleticism, route running and hands, he will be a very good player in the NFL for a long time. I think he has a chance to be a 1st rounder. There are only a few players on that Calvin Johnson game changer level, he’s not there, but if you can get a quality starter in the first round, you do it.

  11. scbaby2013 says: Nov 28, 2013 9:45 PM

    Lee will be a great receiver. It’s really all about staying healthy and getting a chance to shine in the nfl. Hope he stays but if he goes he’ll keep fighting on!!!

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