Logan Lee’s recruitment brought more than an opportunity for the Orion High School junior to continue his football career at Iowa.
The tight end’s talent brought a steady stream of college recruiters to the school during the spring. Lee and coaches hope it will motivate other Orion athletes.
“You don’t have to be from a large school in the middle of a city to get recruited,’’ Orion coach Chip Filler said. “If you have the talent and skill and you put in the work, college coaches will find you. This should be good motivation for all of our kids.’’
Lee had offers from nine power-five programs including seven from the Big Ten before selecting the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
Coaches from all nine programs, as well as some others, found their way to Orion in recent months.
Long-time Hawkeye assistant Reese Morgan, known to his fellow assistants as a coach who never met a two-lane highway he didn’t like in his search for prospective players, was Lee’s primary recruiter.
Others followed his path on U.S. Highway 150 to the school which has a listed four-year enrollment of 344 according to the Illinois High School Association.
“I was honored that so many coaches took the time to come to Orion and get to know me, my coaches and my teammates,’’ Lee said. “Hopefully, they liked the way we worked or maybe they caught a glimpse somebody else who they might want to recruit or pass along a name to another coach they might know.’’
In addition to learning about the academic success Lee has had in the classroom, many of the coaches had a chance to watch Lee work with his teammates in the Orion weight room and Filler believes the experience was good for all of the Chargers.
“To have coaches from Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern and others in our building as they recruited Logan, that sends a pretty powerful message to the rest of our guys that if they work hard, go about things the right way, that good things can happen at all sorts of levels,’’ Filler said.
That extends beyond football.
Orion wrestling coach Dan Diamond, who coached Lee to an Illinois Class 1A 220-pound state championship earlier this year, believes the experience can benefit the school’s athletes in all sports as well as those who are familiar with him from other area schools.
“I think whenever you have an athlete get the type of looks that Logan received, it can open some eyes. There are opportunities out there at the college level for small-town athletes,’’ Diamond said.
“Our athletes know how hard he’s worked and how much he has put into developing his body, his skill and his mind. It sets a good example for all of the younger athletes in our program about what’s out there if you do it all the right way.’’