- Damon Sayles, RecruitingNation
Missouri’s pulling a lot of firsts lately. On Sunday, the Tigers picked up their first 2014 commit from Texas in outside linebacker Roderick Winters.
On Monday, Missouri got a commitment from four-star wide receiver Lawrence Lee (Pensacola, Fla./West Florida Tech). A 5-foot-10, 167-pound slot receiver, Lee is Missouri’s first four-star pledge of the 2014 class.
Lee chose Missouri over offers from Tennessee, Memphis, South Florida, Florida International, Old Dominion and South Alabama. A one-time Tennessee pledge, Lee described the decision as “the best opportunity for me.”
“They run the same offense as we do at my school,” Lee said of Missouri. “Plus, they’re really high on graduating student-athletes. That was big for me.”
Lee decommitted from Tennessee after committing to the Volunteers in April for personal reasons. After visiting Auburn and Alabama for camp experiences, Lee decided that Missouri was the best spot for him. He is planning on playing football and majoring in business.
Playing SEC football intrigues Lee, but he admits that the conference didn’t play a major role in his decision. For Lee, it was all about comfort.
“Me and my coach had a talk earlier this week,” Lee said. “Playing [in the SEC] will prepare you for the NFL; there’s nothing like the SEC. But my coach always says that anywhere you play, you’ll get noticed
“I don’t really know if it made a difference or not. If Missouri was in the ACC, I’d still go want to go there, so it wasn’t a big factor.”
Conference affiliation may not have played a role, but playing with current and former teammates was something that caught Lee’s attention. Lee will team up with defensive tackle Nate Crawford, a freshman at Missouri, as well as his classmate, defensive end Rocel McWilliams. Kicker Luke Jackson, Crawford’s classmate, is a walk-on for the Tigers.
Lee, who has run his fastest 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, was recruited to Missouri by offensive coordinator Josh Henson. Lee is ranked No. 51 among receivers nationally and No. 60 in the state of Florida.