LINCOLN, Neb. - 10/11 Sports Director Kevin Sjuts sat down with quarterback Tanner Lee for his first interview since being named Nebraska's starter.
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley announced on Twitter in April that going into the summer, Lee, a junior, will be the first-team quarterback.
Below is the transcript of the interview, in full:
Kevin: "Tanner, it was 3 days after the spring game for Nebraska that Mike Riley announced his starting quarterback for the upcoming season. It was you. I know that was something you were hoping to get the second you arrived on this campus."
Lee: "It was a big goal of mine. I had a list of goals coming here -- things I want to accomplish. I'm glad I was able to earn that role and I told Coach Riley and Coach Langsdorf I was going to continue to earn it.
Kevin: "How did you find out?"
Lee: "Coach Riley met with all the quarterbacks and let us know. I told him how appreciative I was and how much I was looking forward to it."
Kevin: "As we look at the spring season, it seemed like it was nip-and-tuck between you and Patrick the entire time. From what we know, it seemed like every throw, every decision... everything was closely evaluated. Was that really the case?"
Lee: "Yeah. I think Coach Langsdorf did a great job of coaching all of us. The competition made everyone better and made us that much more focused. I think it really showed."
Kevin: "When you guys get back together for fall camp, do you feel comfortable with the position? Or do you feel like its competition all over again?"
Lee: "I'm still going to approach it the same way. I'll continue to attack every day like its a game day."
Kevin: "You're going to replace a 4-year starting quarterback in Tommy Armstrong, Jr. You know he set so many records at Nebraska, but it seems like your skill sets - yours and Tommy's - are very different."
Lee: "Tommy is a threat throwing and running. I learned a lot from him being a quarterback at Nebraska and what all that entails. Being a leader, just how he approached every day... He taught me a lot. I still communicate with him often. I'm going to do my best to be as successful as he was."
Kevin: "Knowing Tommy liked to run, and you like to be in the pocket and throw it, how much variation of the offense are we going to see this upcoming year?"
Lee: "Same stuff. I think the play-calling might vary here and there. Not as many designed quarterback runs... We have the same weapons. Just get those guys the ball."
Kevin: "Do you know the playbook well?"
Kevin: "Is that a matter of that extra year?"
Lee: "Having that off year, that redshirt year... You get the chance to see it all play out. You get to learn the details of it pretty quickly. I caught onto it quick. Its been a good, easy transition."
Kevin: "What's going to be most important to you in order to be successful in this offense?"
Lee: "I think being consistent in moving the ball. Making good plays. Not making bad plays. Scoring points. Ultimately, winning games. That's what it comes down to; that's why I came here."
Kevin: "During the spring game, you threw for nearly 200 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. Was that a snapshot of what Tanner Lee is going to look like once the season starts?"
Lee: "Yeah. That's kind of how my game has evolved. I've wanted to be more efficient - complete balls and score points. Hopefully that's how its going to look every time we go out there."
Kevin: "Tanner, you started 19 games at Tulane. You could've been a 4-year starter there. Why'd you decide to leave?"
Lee: "We had a coaching change. With that, a lot of things happened. I decided it was time to also make a change. Nebraska came calling. I took a visit; fell in love with the place. Its a great place to be. I'm extremely glad that I made that choice. Its a great place to continue my education and finish up my degree and graduate. Great place to play football. I don't think I've seen a better place to play football, ever. Quick sell. I couldn't wait to get here."
Kevin: "So the Spring Game had to be pretty wild for you. 70,000 fans gathering together in mid-April to watch a practice."
Lee: "I had been waiting for that forever -- to finally get to play in front of the fans. They have been so impressive. It was in many ways a dream come true."
Kevin: "Can you think what its going to be like next fall running out of the tunnel for the first time knowing you'll be the starting quarterback?"
Lee: "I think about it every day. I think our team does. We've been getting ready for that first game since Tennessee. We can't wait to get back out there and get the next season started and start winning games."
Kevin: "For you, what makes a successful 2017?"
Lee: "Big Ten Championship. We want to put ourselves in good position to make the playoff. Our goals are as high as they can be."