LOS ANGELES -- USC cornerback Nickell Robey is one of the Trojans' most insightful players.
He has a nuanced perspective on most every topic he's asked about, and he rarely shies away from expressing his true opinion on controversial subjects. (Exhibit A: He said he liked Matt Barkley more, as a player, than Andrew Luck leading up to last year's USC-Stanford game.)
Combined with his years of experience defending USC receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee on the Trojans' practice field, there might not be a better person around to ask to differentiate between the two.
And Robey, the junior third-year starter for the Trojans, believes that Woods and Lee's separate, unique qualities add up to make them similar-caliber receivers. But he did come to an eventual conclusion when asked on Thursday which of the pass-catchers was harder to cover.
"Both of them are great receivers," Robey began. "They make great catches. They're great players. They hustle. They do a lot of great things. Marqise has a lot of upside. He's got a lot of athletic ability to go up and get the ball and get a lot of amazing catches. Robert is a technician. He's going to make sure that you're on top of your technique and you're doing the right thing with your feet.
He continued: "So they're very different in their own way, and I wouldn't say which one. But I just feel like, when I guard Marqise, it's just a little more challenging because he's got a lot more upside to him and he knows how to use it."
The whole answer took Robey roughly 45 seconds to think up and execute. It was well thought-out, and it was conclusive.
Basically, Lee has one year less of college experience to his name, but Robey still reckons he's a more dangerous receiver than Woods on a given play in practices and/or games.
Now, to find out what the rest of the cornerbacks in the Pac-12 think.