Another in-state son set to stay home

From being a dynamo in the classroom to excelling at three sports on the high school level, Tennessee has one of the more well-rounded prep athletes posed to become a Volunteer. Sign in or subscribe now to see what he said to about coming to Rocky Top.

In the modern day world of specialization, seldom do athletes spread their talents across multiple sports, especially at high schools in larger classifications.

Andrew Lee is the exception.

Not only is the Morristown native his football team's quarterback and a starting wing in basketball, but he is also among the state's premier baseball players — both as a hitter and a pitcher.

To further make his case as a renaissance man of the prep ranks, Lee carries a gaudy 4.45 GPA in the classroom, logged a 33 on the ACT and plans on being an engineer.

When he signs his letter of intent in early November, Lee will seal the deal on taking those talents to the University of Tennessee's baseball team and coach Dave Serrano.

Making his home less than 50 miles from Knoxville, news traveled fast and with enthusiasm once he verbally committed.

"The first couple of days it was really crazy. My phone was blowing up," Lee told

Lee first got his scholarship offer from the Volunteers in mid-July. He then took a visit, saw the facilities, was introduced to the academic support and sat down with the new head man for Tennessee.

"Tennessee is definitely top-notch," Lee said. "(Assistant) coach (Bill) Mosiello said that anything that anybody else in the SEC does, Tennessee is going to try to get it bigger. That's definitely true. They try to take care of their athletes there. It was definitely really nice."

Not only did Lindsey Nelson Stadium turn the 17-year-old's head but so did his conversation with Serrano, Mosiello and other staff members.

"The way they talked about the game just really impressed me; the way they go about it," Lee said. "They told me, 'We don't just want you to be successful on the field. We're going to have kids that are going to work hard in the classroom and work hard at every facet of their life,' which will kind of transfer onto the field. That really impressed me the way they want to coach and the kind of kids they want to have."

He chose Tennessee over Kentucky and Tennessee Tech. Louisville and Vanderbilt were having conversations with the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder.

Lee wants to be part of the group that gets the Vols back into the postseason and knocking on the door of Southeastern Conference championships.

"It's definitely something to look forward to," he said, "because before Serrano came, I wasn't really considering UT that hard. Once I had my visit and saw what they want to do with the program, it really excited me because UT used to be a household name in baseball and they slipped off lately. But, I think with the new coaches and all these kids that I'm going to be getting to play with, we can really have a chance to make it back up to a national level and maybe have a chance to go to Omaha. That's what I'm hoping."

Lee maintains he will be afforded the opportunity to contribute as a two-way baseball player, likely playing a corner infield or outfield spot when in the batting order.

Last season, he batted. 427 with 48 RBIs. On the mound, he went 6-2 with four saves, a 2.38 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.

Lee was the No. 1 starter for a Morristown West team that finished second in District 2-AAA. Their season ended in the Region 1-AAA semifinals at the hands of Science Hill and star pitcher Daniel Norris, who is now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays organization after signing for $2 million as a second-round draft pick.

Should the pro ranks come calling, Lee maintains that it will take a truckload of cash to get him to pass on becoming a Vol as his parents have stressed getting an education. Aside from that, June is several months away.

"I'm just going to worry about being a high school kid right now and worry about that when the time comes," he said.

Of Tennessee's seven verbal commitments in the Class of 2012, five of those are in-state products and three (Lee, Colton Harris and Nick Dawson) played together for Team Tennessee in the Junior Sunbelt Classic this summer in Oklahoma.

"It's pretty cool," he said of playing with those guys again," especially because Nick and Colton, they both did awesome down in Oklahoma and I was thinking, 'Man, I get to play with these guys again. We're going to have something good going here.' Then, Drake Owenby, I used to play with him in the summer a couple years ago. I played against A.J. Simcox. There's a lot of talent in our class coming in."

Lee led his football team to a 14-10 victory in Week 1 over defending TSSAA Class 4A state champion Greeneville. They play host to Science Hill later tonight.

Although he admitted he wasn't quite sure if Serrano and his fellow UT coaches were keen on Lee continuing to play football, they didn't openly voice any displeasure of his choice.

"They said they like it. They said they like having kids that are athletic and do more than just baseball because they don't want you getting burnt out or anything," Lee said.

Assuming he hangs up his football cleats and basketball sneakers upon his arrival to Rocky Top, Lee thinks it is a possibility his career on the diamond could take off as he concentrates on just the one sport.

"Yeah, I think it is, especially because I'm a big, tall, lanky kid," he said. "Once I get a little bit of muscle on me, I'd like to see what I can do."

Andrew Lee tosses in a pitch for Team Tennessee during the Junior Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma back in June. Tennessee won the event with a 10-0 record. Photo by Danny Parker/

Inside Tennessee Top Stories