2011 Intro: Vad Lee

DURHAM, N.C. --- After just one season under center, Vad Lee has gone from elite athlete to elite quarterback recruit.

"Everybody now is recruiting Vad as a quarterback," Hillside head football coach Antonio King said. "I think the only offer as an athlete is his newest offer, South Carolina, which he got [Wednesday], but quarterback is the first choice for them, too."

Early in his junior season, Lee was offered scholarships by Duke, East Carolina, and North Carolina – all as an athlete. After throwing for 2,013 yards and ten touchdowns on 129-of-195 passing (66-percent completion), the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder began receiving offers for quarterback. Also, Duke, ECU, and UNC began recruiting him as a quarterback.

"Once they got a hold of the tape, he has all the intangibles and is big, runs fast, strong arm, athletic," King said. "Vad's style is what the quarterback position is evolving into."

"I'm pretty excited about the quarterback role," Lee said. "Now that my highlight has gotten out, people are starting to respect me as a quarterback."

Lee currently holds a dozen offers. In addition to the aforementioned schools, Arkansas, Auburn, NC State, Oregon, and Washington have also offered.

What was working against Lee is the fact that he started and excelled at wide receiver during his sophomore season. He ended the year with 56 catches for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns.

"His abilities [at quarterback] were unknown," King said. "I knew what he could do, but a lot of people didn't."

Since arriving at Hillside, Lee has been a quarterback. But, he was playing behind Corey Gattis, who is now a wide receiver at Duke.

"Even [Lee's] sophomore year, if Corey went down or Corey needed a break, Vad was the one who went in at quarterback," King said. "He's a quarterback first – he just had the ability to play receiver. We realized if he wasn't going to start at quarterback, we had to find another way to get him on the field. I never expected him to catch 56 balls, though. "

Hillside employs a west coast style offense with Lee as the centerpiece.

"He's the distributor, he's the assist man," King said. "[We tell him] just put the ball in the playmakers' hands and then if it doesn't happen, you make the play yourself… We need a thinking man back [at quarterback], because he has the ability to audible, get us in and out of plays, he has to read coverages [and] not just throw into spots."

Lee, who played tailback in Pop Warner, is also a running threat.

"We don't want him running a lot, because we don't want him taking any unnecessary hits," King said. "But when it gets tight and we need it, he can pull it down and run and get us the first down. He can lower a shoulder, but we like him getting out-of-bounds."

Because of his running ability, Lee often receives the label "dual threat" quarterback.

"To me, he's a pocket passer," King said. "He's a quarterback that does it all – he can throw, he can move in the pocket, throw short, throw deep, put touch on it, [and] throw it in there with speed and velocity."

On Thursday afternoon, Lee didn't claim any favorite schools. However, after visiting UNC that evening, that stance changed.

"I feel pretty good about UNC right now," Lee said. "I don't have any favorites, but if I had a top five, I would definitely put UNC in there. I can say UNC is my leader right now."

What won Lee, who grew up a UNC fan, over was UNC's constant recruiting efforts and John Shoop, UNC's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

"Basically, they've just stayed in contact with me, making sure that I'm always on the same page as them," Lee said. "Coach Shoop is a good, down-to-earth coach. He taught me a lot in the meeting already, so I know I can go down there and learn way more if I go to school there."

Lee is unsure when he'd make a verbal commitment, but guesses it will occur after the football season.

"It depends on how I feel and how the other colleges feel about me as well," Lee said.

During Thursday's visit, Lee met with Ken Browning, his primary recruiter, and Shoop.

"We just went over the playbook and how they operate the quarterback position," Lee said. "They were just relaying that they've seen some great stuff in my highlight film and they just want me to be there. They said I can fit into their offense well."

Outside of Thursday's UNC visit, Lee has attended junior days at Duke, UNC, and NC State. He also attended football games at Duke and UNC last fall.

On April 17, Lee will attend Georgia Tech's Junior Day. He also plans to camp at Duke, UNC, and NC State this summer.

Vad Lee Profile

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