Recruiting Rewind: A Look Back at Marqise Lee's Recruitment from 2011

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 20, 2014

Recruiting Rewind: A Look Back at Marqise Lee's Recruitment from 2011

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Among the best players in college football the past three seasons has been USC receiver Marqise Lee. Beloved in Los Angeles, Lee quickly became a superstar due to his speed and playmaking ability.

    Currently preparing to be one of the first receivers chosen in the draft in May, Lee was once a recruit who was just trying to make a name for himself. The Los Angeles native signed with the Trojans, but USC was just one of several elite programs vying for Lee's services during his interesting recruitment.

    Take a stroll down memory lane with Lee during the 2011 recruiting cycle.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Where He Was Ranked in High School

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    Credit: 247Sports

    A 4-star recruit, Marqise Lee was a 6'0", 190-pound athlete in high school. He displayed the same terrific and explosive athleticism at Serra High School in Los Angeles that he did at USC.

    However, during the 2011 cycle, many felt safety would be Lee's best position in college. He was a raw player who didn't have too much experience playing football, but he had natural instincts. 

    Lee was 36th in the 2011 Rivals 100, 45th in the 2011 247Sports composite rankings and 78th in the 2011 Scout 300.

    Adam Gorney of said in November 2010:

    Lee is fantastic on both sides of the ball and has the athletic ability to change games at wide receiver and safety. He's been so dominant at wide receiver this season that some college coaches are recruiting him as an athlete now instead of just safety...The nicest person off the field turns into a fierce and competitive force between the lines. He is just so fun to watch.

Schools Who Were in the Mix

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    Credit: 247Sports

    In October of 2010, Lee had a top five of Cal, USC, Miami, Florida and Oregon, according to Gerard Martinez of (subscription required)

    At the time of the interview with Martinez, Lee had already taken an official visit to Cal. He would go on to officially visit each of the other four schools, per 247Sports.

Significant Developments

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Lee had every intention on leaving Los Angeles for college, per a report by Adam Gorney of in November 2010.

    It was tough to get a true read on Lee during his recruitment, as he came from a generally pro-USC pipeline school in Serra. However, he seemed set on weighing all of his options. Gorney also said Oregon would be perfect for Lee, with Miami and Florida being thick in the mix. 

    Lee mentioned Florida and Oregon to (subscription required) toward the end of November 2010. He also explained then-USC assistant coach Kennedy Pola was recruiting him, and how he was unsure if the Trojans liked him as a safety or receiver.


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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    USC scored huge points with Lee when his Serra High School teammate, 5-star receiver George Farmer, announced in December of 2010 he would be signing with the Trojans. 

    Lee told Rick Kimbrel of (subscription required) in January of 2011 that he would be taking an official trip to USC on Jan. 11, while an unofficial trip to UCLA was also in the works. He also said he would be making his announcement on National Signing Day, which was Feb. 2.

    A high school teammate told Gary Ferman of (subscription required) later in January of 2011 that Lee was down to Miami and USC.

    Lee announced he would be signing with the Trojans on National Signing Day, as it seemed the chance to play with Farmer and former Serra High teammate and USC receiver Robert Woods helped lead Lee to Troy.

Where He Is Today

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Today, Lee is viewed as one of the best receivers in recent Pac-12 history. He won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the nation's best receiver in 2012, according to

    Lee finished his Trojan career with 248 receptions for 3,655 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also had 1,305 return yards and two touchdowns. He's one of the most athletic and best offensive talents USC has ever had.

    Lee will be a first-round pick in the draft in May. 


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.