Georgia Tech going hard after quarterback Vad Lee

Hillside quarterback Vad Lee is making a name for himself in Durham, N.C., and in recruiting. (Photo by Ray Black III/newsobserver.com)

Hillside quarterback Vad Lee is making a name for himself in Durham, N.C., and in recruiting. (Photo by Ray Black III/newsobserver.com)

Vad Lee. You’ve got to love the name.

Like a lot of great sports names it has the dual traits of uniqueness and simplicity. It’s easy to remember and kind of fun to say, like Vida Blue or Vassa Cate or Coco Crisp.

But Lee wasn’t trying to be cool or memorable. “Vad,” he said, was an invention of necessity. His actual name is Lavaedeay, as in Luh-VAD-dee-A. And there is no deep, mystical meaning to it.

“Nah, it was just my mama putting some letters together and coming up with Lavaedeay,” Lee says with a good laugh. “Everybody used to call me that. But when I’d go to away games they could never pronounce it. So I just put Vad on everything now because it’s easier for everybody. I’m used to it. Everybody knows it now.”

If his football career stays on its current path, Vad Lee will become a household name beyond Tobacco Road.

Lee (6-foot-2, 194 pounds) currently plays quarterback for Hillside High in Durham, N.C. If the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have anything to do with it he’ll be playing quarterback in Atlanta in 2011.

“Oh yeah, Georgia Tech’s after me pretty hard,” said Lee, who has nine offers to date, and more coming every week. “I have a great relationship with Coach [Andy] McCollum and Coach [Todd] Spencer. Basically they saw my junior highlight film at quarterback. After that got out, right after the season, they called me up and they’ve been on me ever since. They’ve definitely recruited me harder than any team.”

Tech fans will point out that the Jackets have already procured one quarterback from North Carolina for the 2011 class. Airyn Willis (6-2, 175) of Southwest Guilford in High Point, N.C., committed less than three weeks ago.

The good news is that would not prevent Lee from coming to Tech.

“I really don’t know too much about [Willis],” Lee said. “I know he didn’t play quarterback at his high school last year. He’s just an athlete, period. And I’m number one on [Tech's] quarterback board. They really want me to be a commitment at quarterback, as they say. So I feel their word is true. [But] I’m sure it’d be pretty cool going to the same school and both being from North Carolina. I’m sure we’ll get along fine.”

The fact is, Lee and Willis are very similar. Both are exceptional athletes with good size and great speed. Lee, however, is more experienced and polished as a signalcaller.

Unlike Willis, Lee played his junior season under center. He said he completed about 70 percent of nearly 200 passes for 2,013 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for 600 yards and another 12 TDs.

Lee said he prefers a pass-oriented offense but is not averse to spread option the Jackets employ under coach Paul Johnson.

“I run the pistol offense [at Hillside],” Lee said. “It’s me back four yards with the running back behind me. A lot of teams are going to it now. It’s a balanced offense. I throw the ball quite a bit and I hand it off pretty often too. It’s pretty balanced. It’s more of a pro style really.

“But I’m not down on what they run,” he said of Tech. “I think it’s a pretty good offense and it’s an offense they are successful in. They won the ACC Championship with it. So as far as me being the quarterback for the Georgia Tech offense, I have the ability to run the football. I think it fits me well as far as running and doing other things such as play-action fakes and throwing it on the run and stuff like that. It’s not a bad offense for me. That said, I love passing the ball first.”

Lee has proven he can play other positions as well. As a sophomore he started at wide receiver for Hillside while Corey Gattis, then a senior, handled quarterback duties. Gattis is now a wide receiver at Duke.

Being reunited with Gattis at Duke across town is one of the possibilities Lee is considering. Others include North Carolina, South Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Maryland, South Florida and East Carolina. He said all except the Gamecocks are recruiting him strictly as a quarterback.

“I guess I’m leaning toward the ACC because that’s where all the [scholarship] money is coming from,” Lee said. “I would like to hear from more SEC schools and I’m starting to now. I’m starting to get more looks and more calls from other conferences. I just got a call from Ohio State today. ”

But all of them are going to have to make up ground on the Yellow Jackets. Lee visited The Flats last month, plans to come back later this month and is scheduled to attend Tech’s Quarterback/Skills Camp on June 9.

“I had a great visit,” he said of his first trip. “I could only stay for about an hour because I had to get to Alabama for a 7-on-7 tournament. But it was great there. It was pretty cool because I got to talk to Coach Johnson. We were in the room for about an hour just talking life and football and Georgia Tech football. It was pretty great. My parents just loved it. I’m looking forward to coming back this month some time. This time I’m just going to go all over the place and find out more about it and see everything Atlanta has to offer and Georgia Tech has to offer.”

As for a timeline, Lee’s not sure. He’d like to lock down a scholarship before his senior season, “just in case something happens I always have something to fall back on,” he said. But the way recruiting interest has picked up he’s thinking he might want to take some official visits and check out some campuses.

“My name is getting around now,” he said.

And Vad Lee is a hard one to forget.

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111 comments Add your comment

Buzz29

May 12th, 2010
6:32 am

Come to The Flats and leave with an education you can fall back on, Vad.

Go Jackets!

ormewood

May 12th, 2010
6:52 am

Buzz, he also has offers from Duke, Wake, and UNC. Those are also good educations to fall back on, wouldn’t you say?

The Real YellowJacket

May 12th, 2010
6:55 am

GT is where you belong young man!

Spike

May 12th, 2010
7:00 am

Vad is certainly full of himself.

30-24 Dawgs - WE RUN THIS STATE!

May 12th, 2010
7:29 am

Welcome to North Avenue but be sure to bring your bullet proof vest, you’re gonna need it walking around campus!

Paddy

May 12th, 2010
7:31 am

Spike, you read a different article than I did! You must have never been around athletes that are confident. It is that attitude that seperates them from the al-so-rand and makes them attractive to college football programs. He sounded normal to me and I guess also to Tech.

5thGenATL

May 12th, 2010
7:35 am

wonder why just ACC schools are recruiting him? The only SEC school is a second tier and doesnt want him as a QB, sounds like Tek material….

messin with sasquatch

May 12th, 2010
7:43 am

dogboi’s are jealous – pee on your own blog

Big Dog 98

May 12th, 2010
7:48 am

The Dawgs still RULE!
GT and the ACC are both jokes.

Techster

May 12th, 2010
7:49 am

So a story that has NOTHING to do with UGA whatsoever has pulled the obnoxious comments out before 8. You people are a real piece of work.

Morrus

May 12th, 2010
7:54 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

ed

May 12th, 2010
7:55 am

go to tech, play in front of 40,000, take a holy beating, then have no chance at the NFL, then fall back on your “education” like joe hamilton and reuben houston.

David

May 12th, 2010
7:57 am

Better than Athens, WE RUN THE STATE where you actually have to protect yourself against your own criminal teammates..

ed( I second That)

May 12th, 2010
8:02 am

I Agree with what ed said!!!!!^^^^^^^

Bitter uga fan

May 12th, 2010
8:03 am

just because your football team has won 21 games and 1 acc champ. in the last 2 years that not as good as georgia —well were still better than tennersa big orange, PS i sure love coach paul he is the greatest, dont tell coach mark, back in rome georgia all the way from kuwait, collage football rules!!! GAYturds and bamma fans can go @@##$%^ on game day, GO dawgs

NC Dawg

May 12th, 2010
8:04 am

I saw this kid play last year, and he can get it done. He’s not the style for my Dawgs, but he is perfect for CPJ’s option, and he is deadly passing on the run. If he ends up at tesh, he will make that offense sing. To hell with Tech.

fantasTECH

May 12th, 2010
8:12 am

UMMM can somebody say SWEEP! (6-5) (25-6 IN ATHENS) and (6-4). It looks like to me that WE RUN THIS STATE. Yeah he could always do much much worse than graduating from one of the premier academic institutions in the nation. He could go to clark county junior college in athens and go to the Rosco’s Chicken and eggs bowl in SHREVEPORT every year!! HAHAHAHA yeah that would be better. lol hilarious~

Vick=Dog killing thug

May 12th, 2010
8:13 am

Odd to see so much written about the Bugs. Can’t help but think…. Who cares ?

ormewood

May 12th, 2010
8:18 am

I believe that “one of the premier academic institutions in the nation” has the worst or second to worst ratio for graduating players in their conference. So, if he does go to Tech, his odds of graduating are far less than 50%.

JB

May 12th, 2010
8:21 am

Vad says ” I really prefer a pass offense”………………………….Death nail for Tech. Johnson lies if he says he’ll let you light it up. Averages 11 passes per game in his head coaching career………………..and stats don’t lie.

ghost of UGA VII

May 12th, 2010
8:25 am

Better a bullet proof vest at Tech than jail in Athens. Do you think the Dogs will be able to get enough players out of jail to field a team next year or will that have to put a helmet on VIII.

Certainly better where I’m at today than in Shreveport! bark bark!!

[...] Vad Lee, please choose Georgia [...]

Spike

May 12th, 2010
8:30 am

Paddy.. “al-so-rand”? Tech English major, huh?

Don't Get It

May 12th, 2010
8:37 am

I’m not knocking Willis or Lee, but we have 2 prospects in the state who are just as good in Mattox and Marshall. Why not go after the in-state talent? Maybe someone can explain it to me…

RxDawg

May 12th, 2010
8:38 am

Sounds like a good PJ style QB. Good luck.

Dawgforlife

May 12th, 2010
8:38 am

Unlike the Tech fans on UGA stories, I never come on a Tech story and say anything negative about anyone they are recruiting. That being said, can you imagine the Tech posts if UGA was recruiting a QB with Duke, Wake, and UNC offers? They would have a field day about the “impressive” offer list. However, this athlete sounds like a class young man, and I wish him all the best, be it at Tech or another school.

Berry29

May 12th, 2010
8:39 am

Sounds like quite the player…could be a fine QB at Tech!
It appears the Vols are in fine shape to land Top SC quarterback
Justin Worley (50 TDs as a So.) He has other offers from ND, FL, FSU,
LSU, and Stanford. He will have plenty of WR targets to throw to
in Knoxville.

BigDawg74

May 12th, 2010
8:42 am

Well JB he might only pass 11 times but look what comes from those passes. One on one coverages and plus 20 on the yardage per pass sounds very nice to me. That is with Josh Nesbit’s bad mechanics throwing with his elbow down and standing low in the pocket.

What a great school uga is

May 12th, 2010
8:42 am

HAHAHAHA AND UGA IS NOT KNOWN AS CHOKE UNIVERSITY? HAHAHAHAHAAH REMEMBER THESE SCORES DAWG FANS…6-5…6-4…25-6…EWWWWWWW

wiley

May 12th, 2010
8:47 am

Vad…if you can hit an open receiver or A back…you will pass for 2000+ yards per season. Nesbitt went for 1700 despite all the dropped passes and overthrows. Imagine this offense with a higher completion percentage. This is our future starter.

north ga dawg

May 12th, 2010
8:47 am

Guys insulting tech is fine. Don’t insult a kid for going to a school you don’t like these kids are 17 and 18 years old they don’t know any better. And who cares about baseball scores on a football blog the only #s that matter on here is 30-24! And 8 out of 9.

no dog

May 12th, 2010
8:48 am

JB, I hate to tell you this, but that “death nail” you mention should actually be “death knell”….your uga education (if you had one) is showing. You only have to read these blogs to understand the level of ignorance out there….not a good sign for the future of our country.

GTman

May 12th, 2010
9:06 am

If your going after Vad, why would you waste time pursuing this Willis man who’s not even a QB?

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Coming to tech is like playin in the SEC…You are in the coastal division of the ACC(the harder of the two) and you end up playing 2-3 SEC teams a year… The only difference is you get to play duke too…yeah dook! I would rather play in front of 40,000-50,000 important Atlantaians over 100,000 hillbillies/rednecks…thats right I said hillbillies. I can say that because I am safe in the mittle of Atlanta where hillbillies are afraid to go. “Oh God the Traffic, eeeekkk”… BRING IT!

Vad, best of luck where ever you go. GA Tech is great, so are a lot of those other schools on your offer list. UGA however = armpit of the SEC… just the facts.

wiley

May 12th, 2010
9:12 am

Because the goal is to recruit good athletes. Willis may end up at WR or A back. Johnson knows what he is doing.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
9:12 am

GTman, Willis is versitille. He can go A-back, QB, WR, or maybe even secondary. Some of these kids don’t find their natural position in high school, you have to get them into college and see where their bodies and mind end up…

RambleOn84

May 12th, 2010
9:14 am

Laughing at the haters who think Johnson only knows how to run. He is a great coach, who will call whatever plays it takes to maximize chances of winning. He has a system that has worked, but he is never afraid to try something new.

When he was OC at Hawaii, his offense led the NCAA in passing one year.

GT51

May 12th, 2010
9:14 am

the doggs might need bullet proof vests. a wave of burglaries have occurred on campus. i didn’t know athens was in the hood too.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
9:15 am

JB, dont feel bad I had not idea it was “death knell”. I totally thought it was death nail…I have been saying that wrong for years…Hell I just typed middle, mittle…seriously grammer checkers = totally uncool.

RambleOn84

May 12th, 2010
9:18 am

Johnson is not a one-trick pony. While currently he is running an offense based largely on the run, he will call a lot more passing plays if he gets the personnel that will excel in the passing game.

GT45

May 12th, 2010
9:21 am

I hope he chooses to be a Jacket! Sounds like he is a fit. Goodluck, regardless. Go Jackets

RambleOn84

May 12th, 2010
9:22 am

GT51,
You didn’t know Athens was surrounded by project housing? Dude, go drive around Athens sometimes…you would think you were in a rough part of Atlanta (like near Tech campus).

The difference is Atlanta has some really nice areas, too. Athens…does…not.

RambleOn84

May 12th, 2010
9:24 am

That’s why it’s always funny to hear Dog fans talk about how dangerous Tech is…Athens is just as bad in some sections, but there’s no nice areas either…just one big outhouse in the middle of nowhere.

But they do allow plenty of underage drinking at their bars (that only stay open til midnight, by the way), so the childlike Dog fans think it’s paradise.

way back chip

May 12th, 2010
9:28 am

Vassa “Gus” Cate – Chip you going waaaaay back on that one

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
9:31 am

Vassa Cate…that is a classic, mad props for that one. (ps I had to google him…)

mario

May 12th, 2010
9:35 am

Yeah come on down Vad….. sounds good so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reality

May 12th, 2010
9:36 am

Dog Fans…about 6 months until you get your butts whipped in Athens…45-42!!!!!

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
10:13 am

As I sit here avoiding work, I came up with a name…
Vad, heres the deal, if you come to GT I will name you the Vad Daddy OR Darth Vadr…you can choose. You just committ to GT and I will make it happen. I got connections.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

May 12th, 2010
10:24 am

ps, if you don’t committ to tech, then I am taking my sweetarse nicknames home with me. And I will give a sweetarse nickname to someone else and you won’t get one…

Gerald

May 12th, 2010
10:34 am

Don’t Get It:

UGA, who unlike Tech can sign practically any Georgia player they want, falls all over themselves to bring in QBs from North Carolina (LeMay, Cox), Missouri (Gray), Florida (Mettenberger) and Texas (Stafford) but it’s OK with you. So why should GT be restricted to Georgia kids? Most Georgia kids grow up rooting for the Bulldogs and don’t appreciate the opportunity that playing for Georgia Tech gives them. They will only come to GT if UGA doesn’t want them, and that results in guys who quit when the going gets tough (as they often did under O’Leary AND Gailey) or guys who take the money and run at their first opportunity (the 4 guys this season).

So, if Tech has to go to Virginia and North Carolina to get kids who appreciate the opportunity to play for Georgia Tech, fine. Let the heartbroken UGA leftovers head to Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Auburn so they can go quit on somebody else.