Surprise contender for the No. 1 running back in Georgia?

Andrew Lee (Chris Nee/247Sports)

Andrew Lee (Chris Nee/247Sports)

Who is the best running back in the state of Georgia?

The easy frontrunner would be Elijah Holyfield, the 4-star from Woodward Academy, who is the son of boxing great Evander Holyfield. There’s also Trey Sermon, the junior from Sprayberry.

However, some scouts feel like the state’s No. 1 running back is a guy who really isn’t on the recruiting radar. That would be Andrew Lee of Charlton County, and the only reason you haven’t heard about him is because he’s working on his grades.

The AJC talked to Lee this week, and it took him a minute or so to list off each school that’s interested in him. And if you know him well enough, you know that he isn’t upset with how short that list is, or how many stars he has next to his name, for that matter.

“He doesn’t like to be bragged on,” his mother, Robin Haas, said. “He wants to be at the same level as his peers, and he’s been that way ever since he started playing.”

But unlike some of his peers, Lee isn’t as well-known. He’s rarely ever on social media, either, and his sister, Nicoyria, or “Coco”, is his go-to for making sure his highlight tapes are up to date and that his stats are consistent with his coaches. That’s right — his sister helps with the highlight tapes.

“I don’t really get involved in all of that,” Lee says jokingly.

The truth is, he’s as secluded as the town he grew up in – a place that rests on the Florida-Georgia line with a population of just over 5,000. It’s a town you’d be hard-pressed to find and one Lee would like to eventually leave.

Less than a few miles from his house, past the always-busy train tracks, rests Charlton County High School, where the likes of the Bailey brothers, Champ Bailey – a former NFL All-Pro cornerback – and Boss, shined on Friday nights.

It’s also where the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Lee has earned a reputation as a wrecking ball of force, despite having to deal with a laundry list of injuries since his freshman year.

“He was built to be good,” his mother said.

Charlton County coach Rich McWhorter has coached the Indians for more than 20 years, and he’s sent off six players to UGA, including the three Bailey brothers, and another four to Purdue. Now, Lee is aiming to be the No. 11 player to head to a Division I program under McWhorter’s direction.

“He’s a one-hole back,” McWhorter said. “He sees the hole and he goes. He has really good speed.”

But while Lee is ranked as the No. 47 running back in the country, he doesn’t hold any offers. The only visit he’s taken came back in February, when he was in attendance for Florida State’s junior day. He had a chance to meet with a majority of the coaching staff and mostly enjoyed his talk with Coach Jimbo Fisher.

“I really want to go to Florida State,” Lee said. “I’ve been doing classes online for it. But if I have to change my route, I will.”

His father, Bernard, says Andrew is working hard to improve upon his grades, which has influenced his prospects of going to college.

“I tell him he can do better,” his father said. “He has to get out of Folkston in order for his life to be better.”

Is Andrew Lee the state’s best running back? You watch the video below and you be the judge:


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