The Daily Nole

70 Days Until FSU Football: Amp Lee Catches 70 Passes, Redefines Tailback Position

Damian Strohmeyer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

There are now 70 days until Florida State football debuts in 2018. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Sunday, it was Dalvin Cook and his incredible 71-yard run in the 2016 Orange Bowl.

Today, it’s former running back Amp Lee catching 70 passes in his career and redefining the running back position for Florida State.

Amp Lee came from nearby Chipley, Florida as a 2-sport star who could play either running back or safety on the football field. Head coach Bobby Bowden realized that his shiftiness and versatility on the offense made him a perfect fit for the tailback position.

Versatility is the key word when describing Lee. As a runner, he was obviously talented and could go the distance on any play — think of a 1990’s Dalvin Cook for comparison. But it was his receiving ability that made it so difficult for defenses to stop him.

Lee was a textbook example of a receiving threat at the running back position. In the three years that he played for the Seminoles from 1989-91, Lee ran for 2,092 yards and 30 touchdowns. In that same time span, he also caught 70 passes for 968 yards and eight touchdowns.

That type of flexibility on offense gives coaches a completely new route to go on. When the defense has to account for a tailback on every single play, it alters what they’re allowed to get away with. Lee could’ve switched to wide receiver at any point of his FSU career and he probably would’ve had similar production.

It was those 70 receptions in his career that highlight what type of athlete Lee turned into. Bowden’s offense greatly benefited from it as well, as the Seminoles’ reputation began to shift towards high-powered scoring.

It also helped Lee get drafted in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft. Lee played nine years in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles.

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