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USC WR Marqise Lee facing 2014 NFL Draft decision


Tee Martin has seen firsthand what remaining in college for a senior season can do for an elite draft prospect. Martin was a quarterback at Tennessee when Peyton Manning decided to use his final season of eligibility.

And that will be at the heart of the re-recruiting pitch Martin -- now the wide receivers coach at USC -- presents to junior Marqise Lee.

"My deal for him is, 'Do you want to come back and try to see if you want to be a top-five pick?'" Martin told the Los Angeles Times. "'If just being a first-rounder is good for you, then go ahead.'"

Lee said he has not yet entertained the possibility that Saturday's rivalry game against UCLA could be his last at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in part because of a shin injury that kept him out last week and will have him at less than 100 percent against the Bruins.

"I've been focusing on trying to leave all the outside stuff out," Lee said. "Just focus on the weekend and actually getting the job done."

Lee has endured an injury-plagued campaign, posting 44 receptions for 604 yards and two touchdowns in nine games. Those totals are well off of his outstanding sophomore season, when Lee set Pac-12 single-season records for receptions and receiving yards to earn unanimous All-America honors and the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the top wide receiver in college football.

But Lee still has prominent supporters in spite of that downturn. UCLA head coach Jim Mora went as far as comparing Lee to Indianapolis Colts great Marvin Harrison.

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis believes Lee is a more complete player because of the circumstances he has had to endure this season.

"He does everything a team would want," Davis said. "We have yet to see Lee's best days."

Whether those days come at USC or in the NFL are still to be determined.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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