Diving into Tulane’s Green Wave: Tanner Lee

Kody Low, Contributing Reporter

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Tanner Lee will be the first freshman quarterback for Tulane to start in a season opening game since 1976. His hard work and preparation culminated last week when he was named starting quarterback by head coach Curtis Johnson. The Hullabaloo’s sports section sat down with Lee earlier this week:

The Hullabaloo: How was the offseason?

Tanner Lee: I stayed here all summer. During the offseason there were workouts, conditioning and walk-throughs, and those went up until camp started the first week of August.

Hull: How is working with quarterbacks coach Aaron Price, and how do you feel about the offense?

Lee: [Price] is an amazing guy, very laid back. He’s got an on-and-off switch. He’s going to be really tough on you and then you can goof around with him. That switch is going on and off. He’s a really great guy and a great coach. We’ve clicked very well. As for the offense, we’re really clicking right now, becoming more comfortable with the playbook, realizing what guys are going to be doing what and getting into the game plan. 

Hull: What are you focusing on in terms of your development at Tulane? In football? In the community?

Lee: Right now, my focus is going to be completely on football. This summer we did a lot of community service and a lot of things to help the community and different schools in the area. Things like that were a lot of fun. School is starting on Monday and the game is on Aug. 28, so it’s going to be really hard to focus the first couple days of school, but it’s something you have to balance.

Hull: What’s your major?

Tanner: Business. Undeclared Business. 

Hull: How was the Peyton Manning camp?

Lee: It was an unbelievable experience. I went as a camper two years ago. This year I just went there for the workouts with those guys, and it was just a really great experience. Peyton Manning is one of my idols.

Hull: What’s an example of something you might say in a huddle to fire up your team?

Lee: It’s probably not something you can print, but just with those guys you have to raise your voice because most of the linemen are bigger than me. You have to get in their faces a little bit and say how bad we need this next play. You have to give them confidence, too. They like hearing that kind of stuff. 

Hull: What’s your favorite restaurant in New Orleans?

Lee: Drago’s. 

Hull: What’s your favorite song?

Lee: I listen to a lot of Kid Cudi, his older stuff. But everything really, I like any style of music. I don’t have one song.

Hull: What do you think distinguishes you as a person and as a player for the Tulane team?

Lee: Right now, being young, being a freshman, just coming into being a leader, so I’ve got to keep working on my leadership skills. I’d say that I have to earn respect from the other teammates to be a leader.

Hull: What’s your philosophy on leadership?

Lee: There are two different types of leaders. There are people that lead by example, and there are people that lead by their actions. I think you have to be a good mixture of both. Sometimes you have to know when to raise your voice, and sometimes you have to know when to just put your head down and work. [When people see that you’re] not complaining and you’re just getting the job done, it motivates them to do the same.

Hull: What’s the highlight of your football career?

Lee: When I was named starter a few days ago, about a week or so ago. That was a big day for me.

Hull: When your career is all said and done, what are people going to say about Tanner Lee?

Lee: Hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll have my name and my number retired, and hopefully Tulane will have won a few championships against some great teams. I just [want to be remembered as] an overall hard worker and for people, like coaches and teammates, [to be able to] refer back to me as being the type of guy they want their future players to be like because of my work ethic and knowledge of the game.