Five things we learned in Week 1, No. 1

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
1:33
PM PT
USC's out on spring break this week and not practicing, but we'll still have content on the ESPNLA.com USC Report. Each weekday through Friday, we'll bring you one thing we learned from the first three days of practice last week and what it might mean for the rest of spring practice and the future.

First is this: Marqise Lee is getting better already.

Lane Kiffin wasn't afraid to admit it after a practice this week.

If there were such a thing as one-and-dones in college football as there is in college basketball, Marqise Lee would already be a goner. He'd have trekked to the Combine last month, worked out at Pro Day last week and maybe visited a practice last Tuesday or Thursday to say hello and goodbye.

He's that good, that talented, that promising. But, luckily for Kiffin and the Trojans, there is no such rule -- Lee is guaranteed to be theirs for the next two seasons.

Through three practices this spring, we've seen Lee perform to a level rarely seen across the country in March. His body control, perhaps his best asset as an athlete, is already performing at its peak, as the sophomore-to-be has demonstrated multiple times with acrobatic catches.

He attributes that to track & field. He's been running and training and jumping for the last month and a half with the track team, so he skipped past the normal part of spring practice where elite athletes are usually getting back to speed.

"I don't get tired at all and I've noticed it," Lee said last week. "Last year in fall camp, I'd get tired after the first four plays.

"Now that I'm doing track I don't get tired all practice and I can run hard all day."

Lee, 20, has always maintained he feels Robert Woods is better than him despite Kiffin's occasional comments to the contrary. He also dismisses number-specific goals for the 2012 season.

He had 73 catches for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman. Normal progression would mean maybe 90 for 1,400 and 15 scores, although the fact that Woods will also be in line for similar numbers may make that difficult to attain.

He doesn't scoff at the concept of 3,000 combined yards for the duo -- rather, he smiles big -- but he refuses to reveal any personal milestones he's set.

"The only goal I have is to do better than I did last year," he said. "I know that's going to take a lot of work.

"Well, I'm willing to work."

That much is clear.

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