Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra athlete Marqise Lee might be relatively new to football but that has not stopped some of the nation's top programs from offering him mainly based on his superior athletic ability.
"He's pretty young to football," Serra coach Scott Altenberg said. "His sophomore year was really his first year of playing. We took it slow with him and by the time we went to playoffs he was starting as a sophomore. He shot out there and this last year he was amazing.
"He's another competitive guy. You put any challenge in front of him and he's got it. His athleticism, his ability to jump and move and get to the ball, you'll see plays in a game where he'll run up to a guy and just take the ball away from him. He thinks he can do anything. That's a great problem to have."
Lee, a 6-foot-1, 187-pound athlete who's also a fantastic basketball player, said he has been offered by LSU, Miami, Florida, Washington, Arizona State, Michigan, Stanford and Cal and that he's heard Southern Cal and UCLA could offer, too.
Not a bad list for someone who's played only a few years of organized football and didn't spend much time playing last summer because of basketball obligations.
There is a feeling that Lee's potential is just being tapped and that's a scary thing because he's already dominant. Mainly a defensive back, Altenberg said Lee will play more offense next season as well.
"We think he's going to be fantastic as a wide receiver," Altenberg said. "He only played a little wide receiver for us last year because we had such great wide receivers but he started every down on defense as a DB. He has an amazing ability to jump and go get the ball, he has great hands. He'll be a double-digit guy that will have a great year."
Lee doesn't have a favorites list yet but said that it's almost a certainty that he wants to play college football with Serra wide receiver George Farmer, who has Southern Cal as one of his top teams but is also hearing from numerous top-flight programs.
The Lee/Farmer duo seems like something that might happen and Lee said he's trying to convince Serra defensive end Jason Gibson, another standout with multiple offers, to join them at the same school.
"We don't plan to go to college alone," Lee said of him and Farmer. "We decided we're going to go together. We're trying to get Jason to go with us. It would be fun.
"It would be fun to just play with them again because we played high school ball. Playing in college would make it even better. We would have the team chemistry together."
No program has emerged as a clear favorite for Lee yet but Miami seems to intrigue him and the Serra athlete said he'd like to visit with the Hurricanes. Since Farmer doesn't plan to announce his decision until the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Lee should have more than enough time to check out some top schools.
"I would love to go to Miami," Lee said. "I want to see how it is. The history is nice but just where it's at stands out. They're all the same though. None of them will pop to me until probably next year."