Oregon CB Terrance Mitchell had to defend USC WR Marqise Lee during his college football career. Now, just a day after Mitchell declared for the NFL a year early, Mitchell may find himself defending the USC star in 2014 as well. Lee declared for the NFL draft on Friday.
Lee made his announcement via Twitter:
To all Trojan fans,
I have decided to forego my senior season at USC and declare for the 2014 NFL Draft. I want to thank my coaches ...
... teammates, staff and the entire Trojan Family for all of the support over the last three seasons ..."
Despite struggling with knee injuries this season that forced him to miss three games, and despite scoring just four touchdowns in 2013 - two of which came in the Las Vegas Bowl - Lee will likely be a first round draft pick in 2014.
When healthy, Lee was widely considered the best wide receiver in all of college football. In 2012 alone, Lee caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a freshman in 2011, Lee caught 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns. Over his three seasons at USC, Lee amassed 248 receptions for 3,655 yards. He finished his USC career with 29 touchdowns.
Lee won the Biletnikoff Award in 2012 as the nation's top receiver, the same year he finished fourth in the Heisman voting.
USC did not play against Oregon in 2013, but the Ducks did have to defend Lee in 2011 and 2012. In Oregon's 62-51 victory over the Trojans in 2012, Lee caught 12 passes for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. A year earlier, in USC's 38-35 victory over the Ducks, Lee caught 8 passes for 187 yards and a score.