Vad Lee to transfer

Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee (2) scrambles against Elon in Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, August 31, 2013.

caption arrowCaption
Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee (2) scrambles against Elon in Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, August 31, 2013.

He arrived at Georgia Tech in 2011 with a reputation almost approaching legend. As sometimes happens in the hype-filled world of college football, and recruiting in particular, however, quarterback Vad Lee will transfer from Tech without having approached the mammoth expectations.

ExploreMark Bradley's take: Not a good sign for Paul Johnson
Explore3 questions, answers about Vad Lee's leaving

Following his first season as a starter, Lee, a sophomore, will leave the program, according to a person close to the team who is familiar with the decision. Tech completed its season Monday in a 25-17 loss to Ole Miss at the Music City Bowl. Lee’s plans were reported earlier Thursday by the website Jackets Online.

Thought to be an ideal fit for coach Paul Johnson’s spread-option offense with his dual-threat combination, Lee struggled this season at the helm of the offense. He had difficulty making the right reads on option plays, often playing with hesitation. He averaged 2.8 yards per carry this season, after averaging 5.7 yards per carry last season as backup to Tevin Washington.

At times, Lee showed his promise, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another in a 38-14 win over Duke in September in Durham, N.C., in a return to his hometown. In perhaps his best game of the season, he threw for two touchdown passes and ran for two more against Georgia in Tech’s 41-34 double-overtime loss in November.

He was expected to be the best passer that Johnson had coached at Tech, but in part because of protection problems and inexperienced receivers, he completed 45.6 percent of his passes, more than 10 points lower than Washington’s rate in 2012.

Asked after the bowl game to summarize his first season as a starter, Lee needed four words: “Rough. It was rough.”

There was little in Johnson’s public support of Lee or in Lee’s own demeanor to suggest such a drastic move lurked. Johnson summarized Lee’s play in the bowl as “some good, some bad,” but pointed out his successful plays. Following Tech’s loss to Georgia, Lee was nearly in tears, upset that the Yellow Jackets couldn’t send out the team’s seniors with a win over the rival Bulldogs.

Lee likely will transfer to an FCS school, perhaps one closer to his beloved home state, where he would have immediate eligibility. Were he to transfer to an FBS school, he would have to sit out one season and have one to play.

Entering spring practice, backup Justin Thomas likely will ascend to the first string. He’ll be challenged by backup Tim Byerly, Ty Griffin (redshirted this season) and Matthew Jordan (an expected early-enrollee freshman).

About the Author

Editors' Picks