Nov. 20, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
When Eric Lee arrived at the University of Wyoming two years ago,Laramie was the biggest town he had ever lived in.
Lee's hometown of Wiggins, Miss., has a population of about 3,800.
Perkinston, Miss., where Lee attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College,has a population of just 700.
"Laramie is a little old place too, but it's still bigger than my old town,"said Lee, a senior cornerback for the UW football team this season.
"With me being a little country dude who grew up in small towns, (coming toLaramie) basically helped me out a lot. I didn't want the city life rightaway, so this was one of the best places I could have been."
Just as adjusting to life in a small town was nothing new for Lee, neitherwas playing Division I-A football.
Lee tied for the team lead in interceptions last season with two, and is theteam leader, as well as one of the Mountain West Conference leaders, thisseason with four interceptions.
Lee also has eclipsed his tackle total from a year ago from 44 in 2000 to 59this season with one game to play.
"He's a great cornerback and a great defensive player," UW sophomore freesafety Jacque Finn said. "He is the most underrated cornerback in thisconference that I've seen.
"He's got speed, he's got good hands, he's a good tackler, and he's notscared to come up and hit somebody. He's pretty special."
UW's secondary has been much maligned the past couple of seasons, due mainlyto inexperience and at times poor play.
But Lee has been the one constant and a stabilizing presence to the otherplayers.
"He's probably been our most consistent player the past two years," UWdefensive secondary coach Bryan Bossard said. "He's a great young man tocoach. He's very coachable."
While Lee is proud that he's made marked improvement personally over thepast two seasons, he's disappointed that the team has won only three of his21 career games.
"It was about coming out here and trying to win a championship," Lee said.
"Since that's not going to happen, I feel bad.
"Now I just want to try and win (this last game) and get the younger guys onthe same level as some of the veterans. I just want to enjoy what footballtime I have left."
Lee is an avid hunter and fisherman, but hasn't had a lot of time toexperience what Wyoming has to offer. While he hopes to get some fishing inafter the season, he is a little leery about hunting.
"I don't know about hunting because the game out here is a lot bigger thanback home," Lee said.
Name: Eric Lee
Year at UW: Senior
Height/weight: 5-11, 179
Hometown: Wiggins, Miss.
Favorite food: Fried chicken
Favorite music: "Down South rappin."
Favorite movie: The Matrix
Hobbies: "Hunting, fishing, talking on thephone, running and talking withkids and trying to set an example for them."
Role models: "My mom. She always pushed meand tried not to make me say Ican't do this or can't do that."
Most memorable UW highlight: "Fan-wisewas the BYU game this year. Thatwas one of the best games I've playedin. One of my other big moments wasgetting my first interception of mysenior season against Furman in theseason-opener."