Nebraska’s 2017 signal caller Tanner Lee has announced this afternoon that he will be leaving Nebraska to pursue a career in the NFL, formally announcing his intent to enter the 2018 draft field.
To Husker Nation: Thank You! pic.twitter.com/1MQYtpMusL— Tanner Lee (@TannerLee13_) December 28, 2017
For those who can’t read Twitter:
“After weeks of prayer and consideration with my family, I’ve decided to enter the NFL Draft and pursue an opportunity that I feel is the best for myself and my family at this time.
I want to say thank you to Coach Riley, Coach Langsdorf, Coach Keith Williams, and all my coaches for the opportunity to Play for Nebraska; It was the opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you to my teammates. Thank you for letting me into your locker room 2 years ago and coming out with brothers and friends for life.
I cannot thank Husker Nation enough for making it so special. I will be a Husker for life. I want to wish Coach Frost and his staff the best of luck, Nebraska is in great hands.
Thank you to everyone that has been apart of my college career, I honestly couldn’t have done it without you.
GO BIG RED
With the new coaching staff bringing a new offensive package with them, the writing was on the wall here, with the only question being whether Lee left for the NFL or for another program as a grad transfer. It clearly would’ve been detrimental to Tanner’s career to learn and train under a fourth offensive coordinator since starting at Tulane out of high school.
In 2017, Tanner Lee posted 3143 yards, a 57.5% completion rate, 23 touchdowns through the air, 2 touchdowns on the ground, and 16 interceptions. Lee definitely looked like a QB who hadn’t played football for almost two seasons. That said, there were issues in pass protection which was basically what Lee struggled with at Tulane, so it makes sense that he continued to struggle at Nebraska. Without a run game to protect him and push defenses off, the conditions never existed for Lee to succeed, short of a Heisman-level performance. Simply put, Lee and Nebraska simply were never in sync. It was a gamble that a QB who struggled at Tulane could succeed in Power 5 football, and it sadly never paid out.
And while the 2017 season did not go as anyone expected, least of all Tanner, I think we can all agree he handled the criticism and frustrations with all the maturity in the world. At 6’ 4” and 220 pounds, Lee has the size and qualities the NFL seeks in their QBs, even if his college record isn’t really something to write home about.
We wish Tanner the best of luck with his NFL pursuit and whatever else may follow. Hopefully the NFL will bless him with a strong offensive line to develop behind.
Tanner Lee is going to get invited to the combine, check in at 6'4"/225, throw the ball 70 yards and get drafted. https://t.co/Q2IZnSVxUW— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) December 28, 2017
And of course, that maturity continues as Tanner Lee drops some knowledge on the new hometown hero, Scott Frost, and his role in Tanner’s decision making.
High words of praise from @TannerLee13_ on @coach_frost: “Coach Frost is an unbelievable man. He mentored me through this process believe it or not. I think he is exactly what you want your coach to be like, as far as being players coach, because he gets it.”— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) December 28, 2017
More from @TannerLee13_ on @coach_frost: "He told me if I wanted to stay, I am more than welcome to stay, and he’d love to have me. He said I’d be his guy and we would roll from there, and I believed him." #Huskers— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) December 28, 2017
Tanner Lee is the first quarterback in Nebraska history to declare early for the NFL Draft. He's the first offensive player to declare early at NU since running backs Brandon Jackson (2007) and Ahman Green (1998). #Huskers— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) December 28, 2017
The mothership with a national perspective:
Yeah, Nebraska QB Tanner Lee threw a million picks in college, but I understand why he’s declaring for the NFL Draft https://t.co/jk3lf9l2OL— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) December 28, 2017
More national response:
"To me, Tanner is going to be one of those guys that when he goes through the pre-draft process, he's going to be one of those guys who's not on radars and all of a sudden appears higher on radars." More from ESPN's Chris Mortensen here: https://t.co/J0IepyDdFc pic.twitter.com/zPevf8MPcF— Husker Extra (@huskerextra) December 28, 2017