New USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin has to like what he has seen from his young, talented group…
From the SEC to USC
Martin knows something about being the best.
In 1998, he led Tennessee to a perfect 13-0 season, including the Southeastern Conference title and the first ever BCS national championship.
As the Volunteers' quarterback, he broke an NCAA record that same season for consecutive completions after stringing together 24 in a row.
Not bad for the guy who was tasked with replacing arguably the finest offensive player in Vol history, Peyton Manning.
"It was an awesome experience (the national championship) and something I'll never forget," said Martin. "Hopefully I can experience it again."
Born and raised in the SEC, this is the third time the Alabama native is calling the West Coast home.
He played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003 after being drafted by Pittsburgh three years earlier and served as the quarterbacks coach at New Mexico in 2009.
"Being an SEC guy, being from the Southeast, we live football," Martin explained, adding that the Trojans seem to love the game, too. "USC has that same passion. I think it would've been pretty tough for me to go any place in the Pac-12 other than USC."
This will be the former quarterback's third year as a wide receivers coach.
He spent the past two seasons at Kentucky before joining USC's staff in February.
Martin said the transition from playing quarterback to coaching receivers has been a smooth one, largely in part because of the head coaches he's worked for.
"I was fortunate to be on staff at Kentucky with a head coach who was a former receiver coach (Joker Phillips)," he said. "Now, I'm at SC with Lane Kiffin who was also a former receiver coach and I've learned a lot from him."
Working on the staff of two head coaches who once held his exact position, it would seem easy for Martin to plot his next move amongst the coaching ranks, but he said his eyes aren't set on finding the next opportunity.
"I've never been a guy that's said I need to do whatever to get to the next step," he said Martin. "I just work my tail off at wherever I'm at and I think the rest will take care of itself."
For now, working his tail off only means getting better every day as a coach and as a recruiter.
There is no mention about the possibility of adding another national championship to his resume this season and no mention of where his career could go.
Martin's focus is hitting his designated recruiting trail - the Northeast and Southeast - and when camp opens in the fall, preparing his wide receivers to catch whatever is thrown their way.
Just like he used to throw it out there.
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