6’0″ 190 pounds
With Matt Barkley under center, USC was bound to have a couple of guys emerge as top tier wideouts, but I don’t think even the greatest of optimists could have predicted the type of year a pair of Trojan receivers would have in 2011. True freshman Marqise Lee burst onto the scene with Robert Woods as almost inarguably the top 1-2 punch in all of college football, and they return in 2012 with one goal in mind–a national championship. When you watch Lee play, he may get overshadowed at times by Woods (who is also a great prospect) but he is very good at many of the same things. He already has an incredible catch radius, and every highlight reel of his you watch, he is making some play down the field. His ability to adjust to deep balls is very good, and he has huge potential as a vertical receiver which he is already flashing at the age of 18 or 19. He doesn’t appear to have elite speed (4.3 range) but he does appear to be fast enough to consistently run by people and run away from them. Has experience as a kick and/or punt returner that will be valuable in the NFL.
As his collegiate career progresses (he will spend at least 2 more years in college) he will get better with different route trees and concepts. Already has solid experience as a blocker, but could always improve in that area. When Robert Woods leaves, as well as Matt Barkley, it will be interesting to see how Lee adjusts. He will have to find more ways to get open than just running downfield, because Barkley is essentially an NFL quarterback and can put that ball on the money nearly every time. He is an exciting playmaker who has great athletic ability overall, despite having above average speed. It will be very intriguing to see how he progresses as a sophomore with another year under his belt and something to play for in terms of a bowl game.