Speedy defensive back Patrick Lee from Christopher Columbus High has drawn the attention of football programs across the country and tells Inside The Auburn Tigers he's looking at six schools at the moment with the Tigers in the hunt.
"I'm looking at Rutgers, Miami, N.C. State, Georgia and Auburn," Lee says in addition to the Florida Gators. "I'm hearing from Auburn a lot. I'm pretty open right now though. I've already visited Rutgers and I'm supposed to visit Auburn on Jan. 10th, UF (Florida) on Jan. 17th, N.C. State on the 24th and Georgia on the 31st."
One school that is surprisingly left off Lee's list is the Florida State Seminoles. Growing up a fan of the Tallahassee based school, Lee says that after a visit to the campus over the summer and the troubles on and off the field this fall the Seminoles aren't in the picture for him.
"I was a fan of Florida State growing up, but I'm not into them that much any more because I don't think they're going to be any better in the future," Lee says. "They've changed a lot. I went to the FSU camp this summer and that's when I found out they've changed."
A 6-0 ½, 183 cornerback and safety for Christopher Columbus, Lee has been a starter for two seasons for the 6A team in what is considered by many to be the toughest high school football league in the country. Leading his team to a 7-3 record (forced to forfeit four games because of an ineligible player), he had 70 tackles, three interceptions and four blocked kicks on defense and also added 12 kickoff returns for more than 200 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown.
While his football exploits are impressive what he does off the field may be even more spectacular. A track star, he won the state championship in the long jump with a leap of 23 fett, 10 inches and ran a time of 10.9 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He also competes in the 200-meter dash, the 4x100 relay and the high jump.
The track numbers are outstanding, but it is his basketball exploits that make people stand up and take notice. Playing against schools like perennial powerhouse Miami Senior High and others, he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game playing power forward for Christopher Columbus despite being outsized against virtually every opponent.
Lee says that while he's wide open at the moment Auburn has done a good job of recruiting him this season. After talking with running backs Coach Eddie Gran throughout the year (Gran recruits South Florida for the Tigers), he has met with Coach Tommy Tuberville and wide receiver Coach Greg Knox since in-home visits began in early December.
"I like those guys," Lee says. "They sound good."
Tiger Ticket Extra: Lee says that most schools are recruiting him as an athlete that could play on either side of the ball. Auburn is doing just that. With help needed at cornerback he could get his first shot to play on defense and could also be a wide receiver.