JuJu Smith didn’t shy away from the emotions he felt heading into his collegiate debut. Smith’s first time in a USC uniform was a memorable one for many reasons.
"As a little kid I always watched the Trojans and I almost shed a tear just coming out (of the tunnel)," Smith said, following the team’s 52-13 victory over Fresno State at the Coliseum on Saturday. "When I stepped on the field and I caught that (first) ball after that I finally realized this is really happening. This is the Trojan family. This is the way of life."
During the remainder of the game, he kept his emotions in check.
As he made play after play in his No. 9 jersey, USC fans and alums alike, couldn’t help but think of a previous No. 9 who electrified the Coliseum crowd during his time as a Trojan.
Former Trojan, Dion Bailey, mentioned that former teammate in a tweet while watching Smith during Saturday’s win:
Something about the ppl who wear that #9 man !!!! @TeamLee1 are you still at sc bruh or am i seeing things??
It’s about as small a sample size as you can have, but after just one game, it’s tough to ignore the similarities of Smith and Lee.
Of course there’s the No. 9. Smith, as a freshman, has a similar upper body build to what Lee had during his last season at USC, particularly in his arms. Of course, at 6’2" 210 pounds, Smith is the more impressive physical specimen.