While the USC Trojans football team hasn’t had the 2013 that they had hoped for so far, this season has to be equally as frustrating for wide receiver Marqise Lee on a personal level. Before the season, many had him pegged as a sure-fire Heisman candidate. However, poor play-calling under the Kiffin regime and a knee injury have hampered all of that.
But, his interim coach, Ed Orgeron, doesn’t necessarily feel like that’s a bad thing in the end.
With the Heisman hype can come a lot of distractions to the individual player as well as the team. Now, with Lee out of the running for the trophy, Orgeron sees him as just another member of the Trojans team, as he told the College Football 24/7 podcast on NFL.com:
“You know what is kind of cool? Marqise is just another teammate now,” Orgeron told the “College Football 24/7″ Podcast. “And although he is a great player, we treat him just as another teammate, and we have guys all around him making plays. Obviously, he is a tremendous player, but now he has molded into a great team player, and we use him just like the other guys.”
In a way, as much as you’d hate to say it for Lee himself, maybe it is a good thing that he dropped out of contention for the Heisman. This team has had to deal with enough off-the-field stuff this season and have rebounded rather nicely since Orgeron took the helm, and Lee has been a big part in that.
They’re 4-1 with him leading the charge and are now set to make a big mark this weekend when they take on the top-5 ranked Stanford Cardinal.