Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor / Editor-in-Chief
Middle Tennessee wide receiver Ty Lee was named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American Team on Monday. Lee joins fellow receivers Ammon Richards of Miami and Demetrius Robinson of California to complete the 34-man roster of the best freshman among 128 FBS teams.
Originally not expected to see significant playing time, Lee earned a spot as a starter in the first game of the year against Alabama A&M after key injuries to veterans Shane Tucker and Terry Pettis, as well as transfer Joc Bruce.
The Moultrie, GA native turned heads from the very beginning with his speed and elusiveness in the open field.
His 699 yards ranked fifth among first-year players and his 63 receptions and nine touchdowns were the most of any among NCAA freshman in 2016.
Beloved by teammates and coaches, head coach Rick Stockstill said from day one that Lee’s abilities to listen, learn and work at the position were the reasons he originally listed him at the Y-position.
“Ty stepped up and had a great season for our football team,” said head coach Rick Stockstill in a press release. “Ty worked hard and prepared himself for an opportunity. When the opportunity came and his number was called, Ty was ready because he had worked hard to prepare himself to help our team.”
Lee’s best statistical outing occurred during the team’s bowl loss to Hawaii, grabbing 10 catches for 100 yards and two scores. What most fans will remember him for this season, however, was his game-winning 23-yard touchdown catch and run in the final minutes against La Tech. The score, followed by a defensive stand, led to the team’s first C-USA win of the season with MTSU coming out on top, 38-34.
Lee was also named this season to the C-USA All-Freshman team and was voted Honorable Mention All-C-USA.
Teammates Brent Stockstill and Richie James each received Freshman All-American status during their 2015 campaign.
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