Tyson Lee Following His Dream

After playing two years of junior college ball at Itawamba Community College, junior college All-American quarterback Tyson Lee decided to live a dream of his that he's had since he was old enough to remember even having dreams. And that dream was to play college football at Mississippi State.

"I guess it's a lifelong dream of mine to play here (at Mississippi State)," said Lee, who was a first-team NJCAA All-American quarterback at the conclusion of his sophomore season at Itawamba Community College. "I've been a State fan from the day I was born. If the tickets were available, we were here whether it was tailgating with friends or whatever it was."

Although he had several footall scholarship offers, none were the type that would stop him from walking on at Mississippi State.

"I played a year and a half of junior college ball and didn't get any offers that I really wanted," said Lee, who broke the ICC school record for career yards passing with 4,432 while finishing his sophomore season third in the nation in passing yards per game (230.8) and fourth in the country in total offense (237.4). "I received a lot of Division-II offers such as Arkansas Tech, UNA and others like that. And they are really good schools and great coaches, but my heart wasn't there, so I figured I would follow my heart. And that's why I'm at State."

As for the lack of D-I offers, Lee's height, which is in the 5-10 range, caused most colleges to stay away. But he's never let that get in his way.

"Life is about battles; everything is not easy," said Lee. "Christ showed that on the cross for us. He died for us. When battles come, you just have to step it up, be your best and lift the Lord in everything that you do."

The battle for Lee coming into the spring wasn't his height, but simply learning the ins and outs of the Mississippi State offense.

"It was an adjustment at first, trying to learn everything," said Lee, an excellent student who finished with a 3.93 grade point average at ICC. "I came in during the spring and trying to learn the whole offense has been an adjustment."

But he's had a lot of help from several sources.

"I've learned a lot from (current quarterbacks) Wes (Carroll), Chris (Relf) and Josh (Riddell) with them helping me," said Lee. "Watching film has helped, but most of all just getting out there and doing it yourself and doing your best."

And, so far, the State coaches like what they see.

"He's ahead of where I thought he would be," said head coach Sylvester Croom. "I've seen enough of him to know he can help us win games."

MSU offensive coordinator Woody McCorvey couldn't agree more with Croom's assessment of Lee.

"I think this spring Tyson Lee showed us what he can do," said McCorvey. "I mean he can make a lot of things happen, especially getting outside of the pocket, keeping the play alive being a mobile-type guy."

Add Lee in the QB mix with projected starter Wesley Carroll, the developing redshirt freshman Chris Relf, a rehabbing Josh Riddell and State has a solid nucleus of quarterbacks heading into the 2008 season.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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