AP honors Hillside's Vad Lee

Quarterback, who led school to state title, named N.C. prep football player of the year.

Associated PressDecember 25, 2010 

— After leading Durham Hillside to a state championship, Vad Lee can now celebrate another piece of history.

The senior quarterback has been named The Associated Press prep football player of the year for North Carolina in 2010. Lee was the runaway winner, earning 11 of 15 votes from sports writers across the state in results released Friday.

Charlotte Mallard Creek quarterback Marquise Williams was second with three votes after piling up 4,500 total yards and 65 total touchdowns.

Lee is only the second Durham player to earn the AP honor according to records that go back to 1983, when Southern Durham running back Darryl McGill was named the state's top player.

"This was an outstanding season for me and the Hillside organization," Lee said. "It took a lot of hard work and dedication. It took an all-in effort for us to get to the point we're at now. Any time we had an event to do or a practice ... everybody was there and working hard. We were just going for that goal all year and that was to win a state championship."

Lee, a Shrine Bowl pick who has committed to Georgia Tech, threw for 3,223 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,300 yards and 22 scores for the Hornets (16-0). He ended the year by being most valuable player of the Class 4-A final after throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns in a shutout win against Davie County.

Lee was a sophomore on the Hillside team that lost to Fayetteville Byrd in the state semifinals when a roughing penalty negated a blocked field goal and allowed Byrd another kick in the final seconds to secure a 9-7 victory. Hillside lost in the second round of the playoffs last season, leaving Lee with a final shot to win the state title.

This year, Hillside was so dominant that Lee played into the fourth quarter in just six games due to lopsided scores and played all the way to the finish in just four.

"He had the size, he had the ability, he had the strength and he had the supporting cast," Hillside coach Antonio King said. "He just went to work. I can't give him enough information. If I'm watching film, he's going to call and find out. And if he finds out, he's going to be there."

His strong season has even attracted more schools that previously were unsure whether Lee could play quarterback in college. While more schools are calling now, Lee said he is "pretty firm" in his commitment to play for the Yellow Jackets in coach Paul Johnson's triple-option attack.

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