Florida State QB Lee files paperwork to enter NFL draft

Updated: January 15, 2008, 1:41 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Xavier Lee's turbulent career at Florida State is over after the Seminoles asked him to move from quarterback to tight end, his father told the Orlando Sentinel.

[+] EnlargeXavier Lee
Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIREXavier Lee's mystifying career with Florida State included coming off the bench and directing a 21-14 victory against Alabama.

Lee's father, Willie, said Xavier, a redshirt junior, was told by Florida State coaches he no longer would be playing quarterback, and that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher had asked him to play tight end instead.

Lee, who was a much-heralded recruit out of high school but started only six games for the Seminoles, is not enrolled in spring classes at Florida State.

According to Willie Lee, Xavier will prepare for an anticipated invitation to the NFL scouting combine, and will not transfer to another school.

Florida State officials on Monday confirmed that Lee has filed paperwork to enter the next NFL draft.

"Can't blame him, man," Willie Lee said of his son's decision to leave school, according to the Sentinel. "What else is he going to do -- sit around there and watch other kids go ahead of him?"

Two of Lee's junior classmates also chose that route: Linebacker Geno Hayes, the team's second-leading tackler, and Letroy Guion, one of the Seminoles' most talented interior defensive linemen.

Lee's time at Florida State had been rocky, at best. Lee was 2-4 in six starts during his Florida State career. This season, he began as the backup to Drew Weatherford, but came off the bench and engineered a 21-14 victory against Alabama. He started the next three games, but was benched again Oct. 20 after throwing two interceptions and fumbling twice in Florida State's loss to Miami.

After that, he was suspended for two games for violating the team's class attendance rules. He also never took the field for Florida State again. He had told reporters he would be eligible to play in the Music City Bowl, but when the Seminoles traveled to Nashville for the game, Lee was not with them.

Guion made 31 tackles in 12 games, including 6 1/2 for loss. His departure, along with senior Andre Fluellen, leaves the Seminoles without their two most experienced interior linemen going into the 2008 season.

Guion was among three dozen Seminoles players who missed the Dec. 31 loss to Kentucky for either being involved in a test-cheating scandal, poor grades, injury or violating team rules.

As a result of the scandal, more than a dozen players will be sidelined for the first three games of next season.

At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds with a powerful throwing arm, Lee failed to reach the potential coaches and fans had hoped for during a three-year competition with Weatherford.

Lee's mother, Gloria, told the Sentinel on Sunday that she has been "heartbroken" by her son's turbulent FSU career. "As a single parent, I'm pretty much upset, heartbroken, because of the situation they put him in and how they treated him over the years," Gloria Lee said.

The 22-year-old Lee completed 155 of 402 passes for 2,323 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His best game came in a loss at Maryland in 2006 when he completed 22 of 36 passes for 286 yards and two TDs with no interceptions.

Sophomore tight end Charlie Graham transferred to nearby Tallahassee Community College, where he hopes to graduate by August and later rejoin the team.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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