LOS ANGELES – There are just two games left in the season for USC. However USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin already knows how he’s going to spend his winter immediately following the season.
It’s safe to say a good portion of that time will be dedicated to wide receiver Marqise Lee.
“That’s my top recruit going into this winter recruiting cycle,” Martin said.
When No. 23 USC takes the field against No. 22 UCLA on Saturday, it could mark the final time Lee steps onto the Coliseum field.
Lee has not announced if he will return for his senior season in 2014. The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner says he still has not made a decision.
“I haven’t thought about it,” Lee said. “I haven’t talked to my mom or dad about it or nothing. They haven’t brought it up. We just left it alone. We just want to finish out this season, just do what we got to do. That’s something that will come along at the end of this season.”
USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron has gone on record saying his biggest recruiting efforts have to be with the players on his current roster. The plan remains intact and will be discussed further following Saturday’s game.
Orgeron plans to sit down with all of his draft eligible players, who may be contemplating leaving early, and their families to discuss their options. That includes Lee.
It’s a situation Martin has been in before. At Kentucky, he coached current Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb. Last season, it was current Buffalo Bills wideout Robert Woods.
Both made the decision to skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft. Both were second-round picks.
Despite having a down year compared to his first two seasons at USC, Lee is still considered a first round talent. But where in the first round? That is a small part of the discussion Martin plans to have with Lee once the season concludes.
“My idea for him is you want to come back and try to see if you can be a top five pick,” Martin said. “If just being a first rounder is being good for you then go ahead. I would think a guy with that amount of talent and ability, but still can get better, would possibly come back and try to be a top five pick because he’s that talented.”