Sep 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft: USC WR Marqise Lee blamed a Grade 2 MCL sprain for the drop-off in his 2013 production


The NFL Draft is coming later this week and USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee isn’t getting same amount of praise as other receivers in the class.

“Ain’t nothing changed,” Lee told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “I don’t know what scouts are seeing as far as me being this in 2012 and me being this in 2013. As far as production goes and doing my job — it’s the same. The only thing that changed is stuff I couldn’t control.”

So what is the “stuff he couldn’t control?” Lee suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a punt return during the Sept. 23 loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils.

“As a player, you’re not going to sit out and watch your team grind and get after it while you’re standing on the sideline,” Lee said. “I’m not that type of person. I’m looking for nobody to say, ‘Well, he’s a tough guy. He’s trying to come back.’ No, it’s for me. I wanted to come back.”

It is kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Had he sat out it could’ve hurt his draft stock as well and he could’ve been slapped with the dreaded “injury-prone” label. Either way he might not be getting top-10 pick money, but maybe he’ll go to a better team and have a better chance of being successful.

Tags: USC Trojans