After a record-setting season for North Jackson High School, Lee Witherspoon has committed to sign a football scholarship with Mississippi State.
Witherspoon, who transferred to the Stevenson school from Birmingham prior to his senior season, broke the Alabama state record for rushing touchdowns in a season, finishing with 53. He also led the state with 2,846 rushing yards, averaging 19.2 per carry.
"I loved everything about it when I visited," Witherspoon said of Mississippi State. "The coaches and players and just the people and the whole atmosphere around the campus. I was pretty sure that's where I wanted to go after I went down there for a visit, and then my mom went with me for another visit and she loved it, too, so that kind of sealed it for me."
The 6-foot, 185-pound Witherspoon had not played running back before transferring to North Jackson, having played receiver and defensive back previously. But his speed helped him adjust to the new position, and after finishing second in the 100-meter dash at the state track meet last spring — in 10.85 seconds — Witherspoon went on to rush for an average of 237 yards per game and led the Chiefs to an unbeaten regular season.
He was timed at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash during one college camp last summer and totaled 3,414 all-purpose yards and 59 TDs in 2018, also scoring on interception returns as well as punt and kickoff returns and a TD pass.
"He's the fastest kid I've ever coached anywhere," Chiefs coach Mark Rose said. "He could play just about any position they need him to, but they made it clear to him that they want him as a running back.
"He's got a great work ethic and is very coachable, so when you add that to his natural ability he's a special talent."
Witherspoon, who had offers from Alabama-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee State, Tulane and Arkansas State, also has been chosen to play in the Alabama/Mississippi all-star game Dec. 17 in Montgomery.