Nebraska names former Tulane starter Tanner Lee starer heading into the summer

Nebraska has named former Tulane starter Tanner Lee the starting quarterback entering into the summer.

After competing for the job in the spring, former Tulane starter Tanner Lee has won the Nebraska starting quarterback job for now over redshirt freshman Patrick O'Brien. Head coach Mike Riley announced the news via Twitter on Wednesday, but said the competition isn't over. 

"We met with the QBs and explained the importance of defining a starter at this time. Tanner Lee is our top QB heading into the summer," said Riley. "All of our QBs understand that competition and opportunity is ongoing...Our QB competition this spring was outstanding. That talented group will continue to push each other and provide a bright future."

Lee threw 23 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in two seasons at Tulane, throwing for 3,601 career passing yards. Tulane went 3-9 in 2015. In the annual Red-White spring game, Lee had a quarterback rating over 200 and threw for three touchdowns. 

“I think we had a really great spring," said Lee after the spring game. "We have a lot of things to build on and I think we got a lot of our offense in and made it look really good. [It's] not where we want to be, but I think we’ve laid the foundation to build.  I’m excited for that.

“I just continue approaching every day just like we’re in the middle of spring ball.  I’ve got finals coming up though, so I’ll probably be focusing on that, so that’ll help.”

Lee talked about his relationship with O'Brien. 

“We can make each other better. I think we understand that," said Lee. "I really think we’re focused on what’s best for the entire team.  It’s really not about Patrick and I, it’s about who’s going to move the ball.  I think we have four guys on our team who can move our team.

“I think [having a relationship with my teammates] is extremely important.  Just to have that camaraderie and to build that chemistry with your teammates is important to me.  To have a relationship with every guy is something I focus on.”

O'Brien was asked about the competition after the Red-White game. 

“I’m comfortable with it going into the fall. Whatever the coaches feel necessary, it’s up to them. It’s not my decision, but either way I’m just going to keep working hard," said O'Brien, who continued with what he needed to work on. "I have to work on my footwork. I have to work on my accuracy, just everything. There’s always room to get better. Just got to keep improving every day.”

At San Juan Hills high school in California,  O’Brien threw for nearly 5,000 yards and 44 touchdowns in two seasons, adding another 1,266 yards on the ground with 22 touchdowns. Both were school records. His completion percentage his senior year was in the upper 70s. He was a four-star recruiting coming out of high school - the nation's No. 17 quarterback in the 2016 class. 


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