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Martin: Turning down Tennessee the toughest decision I've ever made

Coaching some of the best players in the country in sunny Southern California at a school with one of the richest traditions in all of college football is a pretty good gig, but when your alma mater comes calling (a place where you had a storied history and won a national title), you've got to listen and then make a very difficult decision.

That was what was on Tee Martin's plate the past few days, as he mulled over an offer to join Butch Jones' new staff at Tennessee. With everything considered, it's not hard to understand why he's since stated that turning down his alma mater was one of the toughest decisions that he's ever had to make.

In a statement yesterday, Martin explained in the LA Times that he was honored to have been offered a position, and is confident that Jones will do an outstanding job with the Vols program, but he's got unfinished business at USC.

"I was very honored to be offered a position on Coach Jones' Tennessee staff. I truly believe he will do an outstanding job with the Vols program."

"My decision to remain at USC was the toughest I have ever had to make because Tennessee is such a special place to me. At the end of the day, I am a man of my word. I promised Coach Kiffin when I was hired at USC that I had goals I wanted to accomplish here. We still have work to do here to reach those goals. I see a great future at USC with the players on our roster and the recruits we have coming in."

"I have so much love and respect for Tennessee. But at this time, the right decision was to continue at USC and I am looking forward to doing that."

Returning one of the best, and most dynamic players, in the country (not to mention a fourth place Heisman finisher) can't hurt either as sophomore Marqise Lee led the nation is receptions (112) and finished second nationally in receiving yardage (1680) and receiving yards per game (140) and third nationally in touchdowns (14).