Marqise Lee was a Queen Street Bloods gang member when he was 10
Lee caught 29 touchdown passes over three seasons at USC, including a sophomore season where he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards. The speedy receiver grew up in Inglewood, Calif., and his mother lost custody of him and his siblings when he was five. From there, he moved around different foster homes and even lived in a motel. Without much direction or guidance, he ended up joining a gang at a young age.
“My brothers went down the wrong road as far as gang banging and everything. I followed them for a couple of footsteps but then I had to change,” Lee recalled in a video feature for ESPN’s “Draft Academy.”
According to the “Draft Academy” special on Lee, the former USC receiver joined the Queen Street Bloods gang — based out of the west part of Inglewood — when he was 10. One of his older brothers was actually killed, while the other ended up in jail.
In a story on Grantland, Lee even shared that he had to fight a high school-aged member to get in the gang and he won the fight despite being an elementary school kid. But his brothers prevented him from partaking in most of the gangbanging and he moved away before long, which pretty much ended his gang life.
Lee eventually begged his way into Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., and eventually moved into a home with one of his friends.
So far, Lee has made it. He definitely came a long way and overcame a lot and figured out the proper path to success.
“It’s surreal to me because I never had a dream of going to the NFL. I never watched it. I didn’t even watch football because I never thought I was going to actually make it. And that’s where I’m at now — training for the combine,” Lee told Draft Academy.