Still Committed To Southern Miss?

It has been a tough year for North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, FL) WR Branton Lee. At the start of two-a-day practices this season, Lee tore his ACL. Sitting on the sideline cheering on his team, however, has given him a new perspective on football. He talks about that, and his commitment status with Southern Miss in this interview with

Southern Miss commit Branton Lee has taken a very similar path to Golden Eagle true freshman running back Jalen Richard.

Just as two-a-days were starting, in Lee's final High School season, he tore an ACL.

The experience, he says, in the long run will make him a better football player.

"I didn't really appreciate the game until I was taken away from it for a year," he said in an interview with

"From here on out, I'm going to enjoy every day I get to play. Man, just the smell of the grass, and the feeling of being out there, the competition, and even being sore on Saturday morning. I miss it all. It has made me hungry."

Lee knew about Richard, and said he was encouraged as he watched him play this season.

"I knew about him and his story," he added. "He was an encouragement to me, as I watched a guy who went through the same thing I did having great success as a true freshman. It kept me going in some of my tough times."

Creating even more question marks for him was the change in staffs at the school he was committed to, Southern Miss. Fortunately for the Eagles, the speedster is still on board.

"It doesn't change a thing for me," he said. "I'll tell you this. I was in IHOP after the game against East Carolina. My dad was telling some fans that I was going to be a future Eagle.

"Word got around the restaurant, and people started coming up and encouraging me, talking to me, and telling me they are excited to have me. I felt the love, man. I knew right then that no matter what I have found my school. I'm excited about getting a degree and getting in with the great fans there."

Lee, whose main strength as a WR is his speed, said he's working very hard to get back and ready for the next level.

"I'm taking it one day at a time, you know," he said. "I can't rush it, but I'm eager to go hard and do as many drills as I can.

"I just have to take it slow and make sure I'm fully healed. I'll be good to go next fall, I can promise you that."

Lee is making good grades, and is poised to meet all requirements.

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