Big Lineman An Exciting Football Prospect

This high school junior is getting lots of attention from colleges and should be with his impressive credentials.

Springfield, Ohio--Lee Tilley is a huge offensive line prospect who is picking up big-time interest from some of the top college football programs in the country.

The 6-7, 311-pound junior has the size and athletic ability that almost always has college coaches salivating over an offensive line prospect. However, another thing about Tilley that makes him an even more impressive find is the fact that he has learned how to play the game of football at a very high level in only three years.

"He never really watched football, played football or anything until his freshman year of high school," Springfield South High School offensive coordinator Jeremy Beckham explains about the big lineman. "It was the second day of two-a-days and I had seen him in the hallway. He was in the gym for basketball I asked him if he wanted to try and give football a shot.

"He mentioned that he would like to try it so I told him to give me one day of practice and if you like it you can stay and if you don't like it you can go back to playing basketball," Tilley's coach continues. "Luckily for us he liked it and the rest I guess is history."

With that type of development it is easy to see why Tilley has been racking up college offers left and right early on in the recruiting process. At last count the talented blocker has tallied 18 total scholarship offers with some coming from prominent programs such as Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Washington.

Beckham adds that along with Tilley's great athletic ability and ability to learn new things, he also has a lot of other positives that college recruiters are noticing.

"He is kind of the centerpiece of our offense," the offensive coordinator says. "He is a big-time building block being that left tackle for us. The fact that he has only played football four three years now is quite surprising to us.

"He has really developed himself into being a leader on and off the field and I think that goes back to just the way he has been raised. His family has just been wonderful. His mom has done a great job with him and he is just a fine young man."

The Springfield South coach also notes that although he is a fine young man outside of football, Tilley is a terror for opposing defensive linemen on the field.

"He has never been beaten for a sack," Beckham says. "As a sophomore first year starter he graded out 96 percent and as a junior he graded out 98 percent. He didn't give up any sacks either year and we threw the ball 355 times last year in 10 games."

Even though Beckham likes to focus on Tilley's work in the passing game, he also mentions that you cannot overlook his ability in the power game as well. "His sophomore year we ran the ball quite a bit and we still get after it," he explains. "We have a very physical practice and going against our defense everyday is certainly a physical affair and that is how our head coach likes to run practice."

Just in case all of that wasn't enough, Beckham also explains that another one of his lineman's qualities may even be his best. "He is such a big kid and he moves so well for his size," the offensive coordinator notes. "He certainly gets down the line and can move well.

"He gets good body position and he even gets to the point that on several blocks from the backside he has run down the safety to block him and spring one of our receivers or running backs for a touchdown."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories