Catching Up with Tee Martin

We caught up with recently hired USC receivers coach Tee Martin and asked him a couple early questions.

SCPlaybook caught up with USC's newest coaching hire, wide receivers' coach Tee Martin.

(On what brought him to USC)
Come play for the best team on the west coast. Storied tradition, great academic school, best city to go to college and playing for the best staff in college football.

(On what the feeling is like at the university)
Coach Kiffin has everybody going in the right direction. He's a players coach, great coach to play for. And just the opportunity to be around the staff and this group of players I feel like they're great teammates.

(On what allows USC to be so successful in recruiting)
I talked to a few recruits in preparation, before I came out here. Just asking them after Signing Day what were the factors that helped them make their decision. And a lot of them say the guys they're going to play with. And since I've been here, I can see why 'SC has been good in recruiting. Because this team is so cohesive these guys like each other. It may sound very trivial but these guys like each other and you don't see that all of the time. No egos at a place where it's easy to get egos. That's something I've recognized in just the week that I've been here. So it should help out in recruiting.

(On being recruited himself to USC)
Well I can just see how Coach Kiffin is one of the top recruiters in the country. He made me feel comfortable, me and my family, in the matter of two or three days. I had a lot of questions. I knew about 'SC on the football field but I didn't know much about how 'SC was in the community, how working for 'SC would be and just the team. All of the factors that you don't know about before you take a job. And he made me believe that things would be great, that we would have fun, that we will recruit hard and we will have a bright future here and I want to be a part of that excitement. And get a chance to coach with Coach O. I've known about Coach O for a long time coming from the south. He don't stop. But I'm just excited for that. He answered all the questions I had…I'm excited to be here.

(On being a quarterback and watching Matt Barkley do what he's done)
I've been in those shoes before. He's been playing at a high level, he's been close to last year a 10-2 season, a lot of accolades after the season come with that. You got to stay humble, you got to stay hungry. I can see from a distance --I won't bother him, it's not my job to do all that -- but we have a good relationship. We first met when he was in high school at a summer football camp and we hadn't stayed in touch since then but when I got the job he was one of the first people who tweeted out the love to the Trojan family.

(On Barkley's character)
I'm a fan of Matt. You can say that these days. I'm a fan of a kid on a team I coach for. But I am. I like the guy's game. And one thing that stuck out about him to me was as a high school player, was his character. I remember there was a Sunday camp and he came late. Normally I tell a kid 'why you late' you try to bust his tail. He said, 'I have a church event.' I was like 'I can't argue with that.' That's the kind of character he has and I respect that.

(On whether he's gotten comfortable in his week here)
The more plays I learn the more comfortable I get in this very complex system. Lot of things to it and that's what makes it good. I've had the opportunity to play in a similar system when I was playing for the Oakland Raiders and playing for the Eagles so I'm familiar with the concepts it's just getting the terminology down. But I do feel comfortable around these players and coaching staff. And now just being around these guys makes it a lot easier. I have a lot of ties back from college, with Coach Ausmus who was in the system on the Tennessee staff, Coach Carlisle, and now just the opportunity to be with the staff feels good.

(On raising the level of play of USC's already-talented receiving core)
Working hard every day. Just allowing them and showing them where they can get better. Nobody is perfect. I had the opportunity to play with Jerry Rice at the end of his career playing for the Raiders. And that was a guy who knew the plays, knew the techniques, but still went after it every day, took notes in meetings. And he was one of the best that ever played the game if not the best to play the position. And I got stories like that to tell them. If you look at Robert, look at the way he goes about preparation, Marqise is always asking questions and George in transition coming back to wide receiver he's asking questions, wanting to be great and Nelson Agholor has been a kid that has been reaching out a little bit. So I'm just excited about that room. And the best thing that stuck out for me is it's hard to help kids that don't want to be helped and I have a good character group of guys and that's what's going to help me and those guys get better.

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