USC Football: Trojans Moving Marqise Lee to Cornerback?

October 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) cannot bring in the pass while defended by Utah Utes defensive back Reggie Topps (28) during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

When Marqise Lee was recruited out of Serra High School, many thought he could become the most talented corner that USC has had in a long, long time. Just like Robert Woods, and even Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, defense was a strong possibility at the college level with the Trojans, though Lee proved in camp that he deserved a shot at wide receiver.

As a receiver, Lee has been incredible for the Trojans, as the sophomore already has an NCAA-best 52 receptions on the season, and is on pace to shatter the Pac-12 record that Robert Woods set a year ago. But with the troubles that the Trojans have had at cornerback, would it make sense for Lane Kiffin to share Lee with his father and play him in the secondary?

Marqise Lee thinks so.

According to Lane Kiffin via Pedro Moura, Lee told him on the team flight from Salt Lake City that he wanted to play defense, while not missing any time on offense. Even with the immense value that Lee offers on offense, it has to be tempting for Kiffin, though he’s not exactly seeming eager. Is it crazy to think about double-downing on Lee, though? Not exactly.

When you consider that in high school, all top prospects are two-way players, it’s not as if Lee would be out of position or fatigued if he played a little corner. Using him in a high pressure situation, say in the red zone, wouldn’t hurt the Trojans, especially when you take into account how much of a liability the second corner spot has been since the academic departure of Isiah Wiley.

Last night, Torin Harris got burned multiple times including on a razzle-dazzle touchdown that was nullified due to a penalty. Plus, freshman Kevon Seymour was beat deep over the middle on Utah’s third touchdown, which made it 21-10 Utes in the second quarter.

There’s surely a need there, and kudos for Lee to being enormous team player by wanting to help the Trojans in anyway he can. This isn’t exactly the way that Petey Jones would up corner for the T.C. Williams Titans, but it’s an opportunity that should be strongly considered.

Also, there’s a Heisman candidacy that can be built up for Lee, and if he’s to get time at cornerback and have success, it very well could push him just behind Geno Smith and into the conversation.

With extra time to get ready for the Washington Huskies up in Seattle next Saturday, it’ll be interesting to see how far Kiffin explores the situation.

An interesting subplot however, is that Kiffin’s angst against the media includes reporting scheme in practice as it ‘creates a competitive disadvantage’.  If Lee does get time at corner, didn’t Lane Kiffin just blow his own cover by mentioning it to the media?

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What do you think? Should Marqise Lee play a little corner this season? Leave your comments below.

Topics: Football, Marqise Lee, USC Trojans

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  • Dansp5

    Lets go for it! With woods, Agholor and our two tight ends, we still would have a formidable offense. This might be a huge upgrade

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CH37Z5F3MLCFI64OBBLW7VB75M Steve

    Lee is just being greedy…I hope he blows a knee out against Washington

  • http://www.facebook.com/gil.marin.14 Gil Marin

    I would love to see Lee at corner. He would be the second lock down corner under the assistance of Robey and others. With two lock down corners a defense is nearly impossible to score on.