USC WR Marqise Lee Wins 2012 Fred Biletnikoff Award

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 6, 2012

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Marqise Lee #9 of the USC Trojans reacts to the crowd during a 38-28 loss to the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on November 17, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

USC sophomore Marqise Lee has been given the Fred Biletnikoff award as the best wide receiver in college football across the 2012 season.

The Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s best wide receiver goes to Marqise Lee of USC.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 7, 2012

While his fellow finalists—West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey and Baylor’s Terrance Williams—also had fantastic years, it is no surprise that Lee was given the honor. The Southern California native dominated opposing defensive backs this season.

He had more than 10 receptions in seven games this year, and recorded over 100 receiving yards eight times. He finished the season with 112 receptions for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns.

While the Trojans struggled to live up to their No. 1 rank from this year’s preseason poll, Lee went far beyond anyone’s grandest expectations for his 2012 campaign. 

The 6’1”, 195-pound wideout was not included among the 48 players that were named to the watch list prior to the season. But he quickly made a name for himself by catching 10 passes for 197 yards and touchdown in USC’s season opener against Hawaii, then found his way into the end zone three times the following week against Syracuse.

Lee’s best performance came at Arizona when he exploded for 16 catches, 345 yards and two touchdowns. His yardage total in this contest is now the Pac-12 record. 

Against tough opponents, Lee was consistently productive. He had at least 100 receiving yards against Stanford, Oregon and UCLA.

Lane Kiffin is certainly thrilled with Lee’s production in 2012, but he is likely more excited about getting the star receiver back for his junior season. Judging by the talent and ability Lee displayed this year, this will not be the last award he wins during his time in Los Angeles.