Of the many intriguing pre-season storylines for the 2012 college football season, none intrigues me personally more than the Trojans of Southern Cal finally coming off their NCAA-imposed post-season ban. To borrow a tired cliché, USC being a national title contender is great for college football – love or hate them the Trojans have the ability to draw casual fans to games and to view on TV, which in turn increases nation-wide coverage and popularity of the sport. With all due respect to the Alabama’s, Michigan’s, Texas’, and Notre Dame’s of the world, no program in the nation brings more “star-power” to college football than the men of Troy. With star players such as O.J. Simpson, Charles White, Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen and Lynn Swann back in the day to current day greats such as Keyshawn Johnson, Carson Palmer, Junior Seau (R.I.P.), Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, the Trojans are seemingly always stocked with players who go on to NFL stardom (or in Leinart’s case, they just go on to the NFL). This year’s roster will be no different as most experts agree that at least 3 current Trojans will be first-rounders in next April’s draft. Most Freaks know all about Matt Barkley, but WR Robert Woods and S T.J. McDonald are studs in their own right and will be shaking Commissioner Goddell’s hand at Radio City Music Hall as well.
However, the most talented and most explosive player on the entire roster is relatively unknown – but that will change quickly once the season gets under way. That man is sophomore wideout Marqise Lee, and we’ll watch him dominate games week in and week out on a level that is rarely seen. Quite simply this man is a freak; at 6’0” and 195 lbs Lee is a classic “burner” who can stretch the field like few others in the country (pro or college). While the measurables can make you a star on the Combine circuit, it is stats and highlights that make a player a star in the minds of fans and analysts … and Lee has both in spades – as a true freshman last season Lee posted 73 catches for 1,143 yards and 11 TD’s (10 of his tubs came from at least 25 yards out, can you say “explosive”?) while also returning 10 kickoffs for an average return of 29 yards, including a TD runback vs. Washington. As for the highlights, click play on the video posted to this blog, it’s worth your time. Oh and by the way he stepped away from the football team during the spring to compete on USC’s nationally respected track team and was one of only 3 freshmen nationwide to make nationals in the Long Jump.
Marqise Lee is truly a name to get to know and to remember heading into the 2012 college football season – he is poised to have a sensational season. Many observers are already touting him as he is on the pre-season watch list for the Biletnikoff Award (top WR in the nation), and is on several pre-season all-conference teams and even a couple all-American teams. Such high praise is definitely justified for Marqise Lee and by the time he is finished at USC his name will be up there among the greatest Trojans of all time.
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