Dr. Saturday

USC star WR Marqise Lee’s Heisman campaign might see boost with snaps on defense

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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(US Presswire)

USC receiver Marqise Lee is already a strong candidate to go to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, and playing some snaps on defense might give him a better shot to take home the award.

Lee, already considered the top receiver in the Heisman race, might play defense this weekend against Arizona State, according to a few media outlets including ESPN.com.

"We've looked at some defensive situations for the first time this week with him out there," USC coach Lane Kiffin said, according to ESPN.com. "That may present itself Saturday."

It sounds like if Lee plays defense, it would be as a cornerback. He was primarily a safety in high school but has been an exceptional receiver with USC, breaking the Pac-12 single-game receiving record earlier this season against Arizona.

Kiffin said that Lee could be a "first-round corner if he wanted to play on defense," and unlike some things Kiffin says, we're inclined to believe him when he says that. Lee is an exceptional athlete, and might actually help USC's defense if given the chance. There's no proof that he's at more risk of injury playing defense than he is on offense, and it would help the team and be fun to watch.

In 1997, Michigan's Charles Woodson became a sensation when he did some moonlighting on offense. It helped him win the Heisman Trophy. If Lee gets a shot on defense and makes some plays, the same thing might happen 15 years later.

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