Once a small fish, M. Lee looks to reel in big catch

He needs 1 reception to become school's all-time leading receiver


November 21, 2008|By Mike Klingaman | Mike Klingaman,mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

His first college catch was a modest one, a 7-yard screen long forgotten. Four years later, Marcus Lee stands on the cusp of football history at Towson University.

With one reception in tomorrow's finale against James Madison, Lee (219 catches) would become Towson's all-time leading receiver, passing Jamal White (class of 2002). Lee would also end his career having caught at least one pass in 45 consecutive games, a school record.

Both are heady efforts for the Tigers' wide receiver from Silver Spring who entered Towson with little fanfare but who leaves with a marquee flourish.

"Everyone asks, 'Are you nervous this week?' No, not at all. I'm not much of an emotional person," Lee said. "If I do make a catch [tomorrow], I'll just go back to the huddle and do it again."

Lee's achievements brighten a disappointing season for Towson (3-8, 1-6 Colonial Athletic Association), which hosts the Dukes (9-1, 7-0) at 1 p.m. Neither fast nor flashy, Lee has blossomed playing smooth and savvy.

"He is disciplined and dependable, consistent yet humble," Towson coach Gordy Combs said. "Marcus isn't a burner, but he understands the coverages and he runs great routes."

Combs liked the hardworking wide receiver from the start. After Lee's first game as a freshman, in which he starred off the bench, the coach introduced him to White.

"This is the guy whose record you're going to break," Combs told Lee.

Lee's response?

"Yeah, right."

Lee's work ethic earns kudos from the coaching staff. He leaves practice with a pile of game films from Towson's next opponent and peruses them at night while studying in his off-campus apartment.

"I'll play the tapes in the background while I'm doing my homework," he said. "Every so often I'll glance up to watch them. I try to find holes in the [other team's] defense. I study the defensive backs' weaknesses.

"I work hard at it. Watching game films is just like preparing for a test. The answers are right there in front of you. You've just got to memorize them."

After graduation, Lee plans to become a chiropractor.

"I've always had an interest in anatomy," he said. Deep down, he would relish a shot at pro football.

"I'd love a tryout," he said. "I'd like to know how good I really am - or how good I'm really not."



(9-1, 7-0 CAA)

@TOWSON (3-8, 1-6)

Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

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