August 18, 2008

From walk-on to prime time

Tyson Lee's time at Mississippi State has been like a fairy tale.

From transferring in from a junior college to walk-on the team in the spring to receiving a scholarship and being guaranteed playing time in the Bulldogs opener has been like a dream come true for the Columbus native.

"It's amazing," Lee said. "It's truly humbling. It's a blessing from God and I just want to thank Him for everything that's gone on so far. The biggest thing right now for this team is that we want to get better. In any way that I can help the team, I'd be willing to do that. As long as in each practice and each game we continue to improve, I think we will be OK."

Lee was a junior college All-American on the field and in the classroom for Itawamba Community College. Lee led the Indians to a 14-4 record as a starter and passed for 4,432 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Lee connected on 201-of-323 passing during his sophomore season for 2,308 yards and 12 scores. His 230.8 passing yards per game average was third in the country but his size continued to leave Division-I schools leery. Listed at only 5-11, 190-pounds, Lee is not the ideal size many coaches are looking for in a quarterback.

"Tyson's size was a concern," said head coach Sylvester Croom. "It was a concern coming out of high school and out of junior college. You always want somebody who is 6-3, 6-4, but the reality is there's not that many guys around that can throw the ball, have the feet, have the intelligence, the mobility, and the ideal height. The most important job of quarterback is to get his football team in the end zone; Tyson has proven from high school through junior college he can do that, and that's what he showed us after the spring. He will get his team in the end zone and that's really the true measure of a quarterback, will he put points on the board?"

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