SEIZING HIS OPPORTUNITY: Red Level’s Lee gets chance to play college ball
Former Red Level High School standout running back, John Lee, will have the opportunity to extend his football career after accepting a walk-on invitation to join the University of West Alabama.
“It feels good,” Lee said. “I’m really excited about this opportunity to continue playing football.”
Lee said that the UWA officials came down to Red Level awhile back and invited him to come up for a visit.
“They came down and saw me and told me they wanted me to come up for a summer camp,” Lee said. “I did that and liked it there and they liked me. They then asked me to come walk on, and I thought that was the best option for me.”
Playing college football is something that Lee said has been a longtime dream of his.
“I started playing football back in the eighth grade and I feel in the love with from the start,” Lee said. “Ever since then, I’ve worked very hard for my goal of playing college football. It’s crazy to see it coming true.”
Lee was first-team All-State selection for Class 1A following his senior season after leading the state in rushing yards, but it’s his approach that one his high school coaches, Tony Ingram, says blows his mind.
“There is no doubt that John is extremely talented, but it’s his approach and demeanor to the game that is the most impressive,” Ingram said. “His talent is only second to his humility and college coaches should have been all over this guy. No matter what the score or the situation, John always has the same approach to the game. He never lets things get him upset. He could be out there taking a beating, but he won’t even start to complain. He has intangibles that can’t be measured on Scouts or Rivals, but if you could, his character and heart would be off the charts.”
Ingram said the he has been impressed with how Lee handles every situation that is put in front of him.
“He never backs down and never makes excuses,” Ingram said. “It’s guys like John that you get into coaching for, because you aren’t in it for the money. Guys like him don’t come around very often. He is one of the best talents that I’ve ever been around and his approach is unmatched. I think in a year, West Alabama is going to realize what they actually have in John.”
For Lee, just having the chance to continue his education and playing career is all he needs.
“I’m thankful that they are giving me a chance,” Lee said. “Being able to go college to get a good education, and maybe play football means a lot to me. My main goal is to get my education. If I can play football at the same time, that will be great, but my focus is going to be my education.”
Lee said he is excited about the moving up to college, but said he will miss Red Level.
“I love Red Level,” Lee said. “It’s a great place with great people that support me no matter what, and I just love it. Coach (Tony) Ingram has helped me in so many ways. He has been the best coach that I’ve ever had. He has been a great person in my life and I’m very thankful for him.”
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