Marqise Lee: I'll be ready vs. Irish

Updated: October 17, 2013, 1:02 AM ET
By Johnny Curren | ESPN.com

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee returned to practice Tuesday and said he should be ready to play against Notre Dame on Saturday.

[+] EnlargeMarqise Lee
Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY SportsMarqise Lee, who suffered a sprained knee on Sept. 28, says he expects to play at Notre Dame: "I think that I'm coming around pretty good. I think by Saturday afternoon I'll be OK -- 100 percent."

Lee took part in the early portion of the practice, showing no ill effects from the knee sprain that has relegated him to the sideline since he suffered the injury Sept. 28 against Arizona State.

"I'm good and I had a great day today," Lee said. "I think that I'm coming around pretty good. I think by Saturday afternoon I'll be OK -- 100 percent."

The junior appeared sharp and in command, despite having just begun the process of getting back in the flow of things.

"I haven't caught a ball in about two weeks," said Lee, who leads USC with 30 receptions for 385 yards and one touchdown in 2013. "It's been a while. I've been getting back on the Jugs Machine inside. Tee [Martin] has been pushing me to catch balls.

"From my point of view, I'm going to play," Lee said. "But for Coach [Ed Orgeron], it'll depend, I think, on how I feel. But I'll let him know the truth, and right now I feel OK. I think I had a great practice ... came out here doing what I'm supposed to do."

Orgeron was encouraged by what he saw.

"I didn't know he was going to come out and do the things that he did," Orgeron said. "Obviously, he looked a little bit better."

The return of Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner, would provide a big boost for a Trojans passing game that showed renewed life under the direction of offensive coordinator Clay Helton in a 38-31 victory over Arizona. Cody Kessler passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns, and Nelson Agholor had seven catches for 161 yards and one touchdown.

The Trojans (4-2), who might also regain wide receivers Darreus Rogers and De'Von Flournoy this week, have fed off Orgeron's energy since he took over as interim coach after Lane Kiffin was fired following USC's 62-41 loss to the Sun Devils.

"Momentum is rolling," Lee said. "We'll continue to keep it going as much as possible."

Johnny Curren

WeAreSC, Reporter

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