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Marqise Lee sets his sights on quick NFL stardom

Lee Getty Images

It’s been 16 years since Randy Moss vowed to “rip it up” at the NFL level.  And rip it up he did.

While former USC receiver Marqise Lee isn’t as colorful, he possesses similar confidence.

“I feel like I am the caliber to be that No.1 receiver,” Lee recently told Tom Pelissero of USA Today.  “That’s my goal:  To come in immediately and get it going.”

A year ago, more scouts and pundits would have been inclined to agree, given that Lee was coming off a Biletnikoff Award-winning season.  However, his final year at Southern Cal became a major disappointment, with less than half the total catches and less than half the total yards.

So what changed?

“Ain’t nothing changed,” Lee said.  “I don’t know what scouts are seeing as far as me being this in 2012 and me being this in 2013.  As far as production goes and doing my job — it’s the same. The only thing that changed is stuff I couldn’t control.”

He definitely can’t control his draft stock.  Some see him as landing between No. 16 and No. 25 in round one.  Others see him sliding out of the first night completely.

Lee did have control in another area, that would have actually helped his draft stock.  He could have chosen not to play in 2013, resting on his 1,721-yard sophomore season and not risking an off year due to injuries, quarterback problems, team turmoil, and other factors.

Some believe that, eventually, a player destined to be a high first-round pick only two years removed from high school will choose to sit for his third year.  He’ll likely take plenty of heat for it — particularly from the fans of his college team — but it’s an option that players need to consider as they navigate the big business of college and pro football.

Everyone else treats it like the big business that it is; the earlier in life that a player realizes it’s a big business, the better off the player will be.

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16 Responses to “Marqise Lee sets his sights on quick NFL stardom”
  1. kayakattack says: May 2, 2014 8:35 AM

    Just like all those other star WR’s from USC

  2. thestrategyexpert says: May 2, 2014 9:05 AM

    Just add him to the list of players that went out of their way to gamble with their draft stock and LOST THE BET! I’m sure he made a lot of cool friends though by playing with them, they probably all really appreciated the risks he was taking for their benefit. What a nice guy for him to surrender his own career interests for their game even though they lost their 2nd game of the season and 2 of the first 5. He still stuck around for all of that.

    You just can’t put a price on loyalty. But you can put a price on having a bird in the hand, but Lee felt like giving that financial value away to some other young prospect that probably needs the money more than him, otherwise you figure Lee would have put that money he made the previous season in the bank so to speak. He should fire his financial advisors and personal coaches and mentors. Get rid of ‘em all and get serious about being a pro. And I guess that loyalty value also no longer counts now that he’s ditching his team all of a sudden. I bet some of the players on the team were convinced that he really cared and planned to stick around.

  3. oldbyrd says: May 2, 2014 9:08 AM

    Eagles at 22.

  4. bmorepositive123 says: May 2, 2014 9:38 AM

    I think my Eagles should take a pass rusher or safety in round 1, especially considering how deep this WR draft is… that said, if they picked him at 22 i’d be really, really excited!!!

  5. nyfootballgiants says: May 2, 2014 9:42 AM

    Think about this. someone who quits on their team to sit out for one season to protect their “draft interests” is not a “team player”.

    If they are willing to do this – what’s to stop them from sitting out the season before they become a free agent – in order to not impact their potential income?

    It’s a slippery slope taking that path. Isn’t it also possible that if he had played lights out this season, he could have been a top pick?

  6. qdog112 says: May 2, 2014 9:51 AM

    Good luck Mr. Lee. In my view it’s a mistake for a player with career numbers to go back to school, if he’s eligible.

    I’m not superstitious (no more than anyone else), but please Gettleman don’t take him. Carolina and USC receivers don’t mix.

  7. lostsoul8888 says: May 2, 2014 9:54 AM

    I agree. You don’t see future surgeons out bare knuckle boxing. It’s your career, you protect your money makers.

  8. dmravens says: May 2, 2014 10:08 AM

    Re: Some believe that, eventually, a player destined to be a high first-round pick only two years removed from high school will choose to sit for his third year.

    This approach worked out great for Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams

  9. habsfanatic says: May 2, 2014 10:11 AM

    So are we going to be advocating that every talented draft hopeful take a full season off so that they can avoid risk before moving to the NFL. Not only would this be bad for college football, it would be bad for the NFL because players would have less body of work to be judged on and there would be players entering the league with less experience, who have learned less and are less prepared to perform.

    I also agree that if people apply that logic at the college level, what’s stopping them from doing it as a pro… I don’t like this idea.

  10. SeenThisB4 says: May 2, 2014 10:20 AM

    Potential #1s are getting advice from all sorts of “pros” and “mentors” from the moment they become that potential “first round pick”. So who knows what, and who, was in his head last year. Last season should be discounted some in favor of the body of his work prior to it.

  11. azjam says: May 2, 2014 10:28 AM

    Got to have a decent qb to throw you the ball. Had that in 2012 with Barkley, 2013 was a circus at USC.

  12. steelerdynasty2010 says: May 2, 2014 10:38 AM

    only media members and fantasy owners view stats as end all be all predictors/reflections of success and/or ability. I’m SURE all the GMs who have sustained success over a period of time will look beyond the final stat line, study the film, and find out WHY the stats look like they do.

  13. Remember Brian Brohm says: May 2, 2014 10:41 AM

    If you sit out your third year because you don’t want to hurt your draft stock, that’s going to hurt your draft stock. Teams want to draft players that love football and have confidence in themselves.

  14. Gator Hater says: May 2, 2014 11:30 AM

    For every player like this, there is a player like Javon Snead. He was a QB at Ole’ Miss who was told he would be a 2nd round pick. He went undrafted and was out of the league in a year. Bet he wished he would have stayed in school.

    Who knows if Lee stayed in school if he indeed would have been a first rounder? Big stats don’t always equate to being a first round pick.

    Also, most players make it in the NFL because of more then talent. They love the game with all there heart. Players like this will not just leave college to sit out a year.

    It’s ironic that florio was paying to blog when he first started. But he kept at it knowing that a big payday may come some day. Seems similar to college athletes. They love what they do and they play no matter what.

  15. brownoholic says: May 2, 2014 12:18 PM

    “Others see him sliding out of the first night completely.”

    Don’t you mean DROPPING out?

  16. NoHomeTeam says: May 2, 2014 1:44 PM

    Just a quick question here . . . There’s a pretty good chance this kid was getting some kind of scholarship money from USC, so what happens if he decides to “sit?”

    Surely that athletic scholarship disappears, does it not? Tuition at USC (well, anywhere, really) isn’t cheap. Who covers the cost of that academic year, if he or his family can’t?

    Or does he simply drop out for a year until he’s eligible for the draft?

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