Amp Lee grew up just 85 miles away in Chipley. And when the time came to choose a college, the standout tailback had the chance to play for the team he watched while growing up, Florida State.
Lee was one of the Seminoles’ best running backs in school history. From 1989-91, he ran for 2,092 yards (12th on FSU’s all-time list) and had 30 career rushing touchdowns (tied for third with Devonta Freeman). Lee went on to play nine seasons in the NFL from 1992-2000.
The 42-year-old Lee will be inducted into FSU’s Athletics Hall of Fame along with versatile defensive star Aaron Carter, softball standout Jessica van der Linden and baseball star Jeremy Morris.
We caught up with Lee to talk about his FSU career and his induction.
What does it mean to go into the athletics Hall of Fame?
I was surprised but at the same time very proud, very humbled. I felt like I had a fairly productive career there. It was a phenomenal experience. I’m just a small-town country boy from Chipley. I was just always taught to work hard, try hard and compete hard. To be recognized by the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame, that’s pretty awesome.
Did you follow Florida State growing up?
I was a Florida State guy. It was close to home plus I admired how they played. Probably with the exception of Deion (Sanders), they were all pretty low key and humble and disciplined with how they played. I thought that was a reflection of the coaching staff and the style of players they wanted and the type of players they wanted. But that’s not a knock on Deion either because he was obviously incredible. But he had a flair to him.
What was it like when coach Bobby Bowden met the family?
Coach (Mickey) Andrews had been to the school a number of times. But coach Bowden came to the house. It was nerve-wracking. It was pretty serious at that point when they sent him. But it was a great experience.
What was one of your favorite memories from your FSU career?
The first one was the Tulane game (1989, his freshman year). The first time I touched the ball, I scored (on a 6-yard TD run in the second quarter). And the first pass I caught a pass, I scored as well (on an 88-yard pass from Casey Weldon). For me it was rewarding and encouraging because being from a small town I wasn’t the most highly touted recruit coming in. Initially you try to get in and figure out where you stand, can you survive with that level of competition. To have that level of success my first game, it motivated me and made me feel good that I could compete at the collegiate level.
You are going to help start a tradition of speaking at FSU’s sod cemetery. Tell fans about that landmark 1991 road game, a 51-31 win by No. 1 FSU at No. 3 Michigan?