Who knows the most about a football player if not his coach? Inside Handoff reached out to the positional coaches of the top prospects before the 2014 NFL Draft. In the 40 days leading up to the first day of this year’s draft I will count down by sharing comments from these top players’ own coaches. Today I share Tee Martin’s view on USC wide receiver Marqise Lee.
Name: Marqise Lee
Weight: 195 lbs
Position: Wide Receiver
Coach: Tee Martin
What are his three key strengths?
“He is a playmaker who makes things happen both with the ball and without. He can leap up, make a catch and explode downfield with athleticism that is rarely seen at this level. But Marqise also is tremendous with his work off the ball, running routes and blocking downfield, an aspect of his game that is often overlooked. In addition, Marqise has a tremendous work ethic, the product of overcoming obstacles for years both on and off the field.”
What does he still need to develop?
“Marqise’s route-running ability is very good but can improve. His athleticism gave him a big edge in college, but that will be nullified to a degree at the next level. Marqise will need to continue to work on perfecting his route-running, but as always, I anticipate his explosiveness will still give him an edge.”
How would you summarize his personality?
“He is extremely competitive and yet also personable and charming. Best smile on the team.”
Which was his best game?
“We ended up losing the game, but Marqise’s performance at Arizona in 2012 was a big moment in his career. The statistics speak for themselves as he had 16 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns, but what you really saw in that game was Marqise’s competitive nature come out. I’ve never seen anyone want to win as badly as he did that day.”
What other position could he play?
“We joked about it throughout his time at USC when we’ve lacked depth at the position, but Marqise could have made one heck of a cornerback. His explosive speed, eye for the ball and ability to make plays in space are the same tools needed in a great corner. I don’t think you’d have to force him to play the position either, but I think most coaches prefer Marqise on the offensive side of the ball.”
Which former or current NFL player would you compare him to?
“I don’t know, I’m not really comfortable comparing him to anyone, so I’d rather not.”
Other interviews of ‘The Coach’s View’ series can be found here.