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Lee Kurfis To Showcase Talents In South Carolina All-Star Bowl

WR Lee Kurfis literally came out of nowhere last year on the Patriot League and national scene.

Hard to believe now, but going into the 2013 season, he wasn't a member of the preseason all-Patriot League team, despite playing very well in several games his junior year when WR Ryan Spadola, now with the NFL's Miami Dolphins, was out with mono.

Maybe it was the unorthodox style of running.  Or maybe it was because people forgot about his sneaky quickness to break for the ball.  But after Kurfis almost singlehandedly helped Lehigh overcome a three-score opening-game deficit to Central Connecticut State, Lehigh Nation certainly knew that Lee had the potential to be a great one in the annals of Lehigh history.

Now of course, the rest of FCS Nation knows who Mr. Kurfis is, as he finished atop the FCS on average yards per game (122.8), 3rd in FCS in receptions per game (9.0), and finding his name on the ECAC All-Star Team, the AP FCS All-America team, Sports Network All-Star Team, the College Sporting News All-Star Team, and, most recently, the College Sports Journal All-Star team.

Now, he's headed to the campus of Furman University to showcase his talents in front of NFL scouts.

"This season was everything I wanted it to be," he told me.  "Going into the year it was definitely frustrating for me, because I knew I was a nobody - when all the pre season accolades came out, I was nowhere to be found.  It really did bother me, but I knew in [Lehigh offensive coordinator] Dave Cecchini's offense I would have my chance.

"I didn't even care about Patriot League honors, my goal at the beginning was to be an All-American, and I am very satisfied with having achieved that goal."

Kurfis felt fortunate to have worked under Cecchini, who recently accepted the head coaching position at another FCS school, Valparaiso.

"Its never fun when your coaches leave, but that is the business and I am more than happy for them," he said. "Coach Jason Miran and Coach Vinny Giacalone really helped me in getting my highlight tape done, and I cant wait to follow Valpo and see how they transform that program."

That highlight tape may have led Lee on the path to professional football.

Recently Kurfis announced on his Facebook page that he was invited to the South Carolina vs. The Nation All-Star game, which is scheduled for Valentine's Day, February 14th, at 6:00 PM.  It will air on CBS Sports Network, and will feature a host of NFL Scouts seeing how Lee, Wake Forest QB Tanner Price, Arizona LB Marquis Flowers, and a host of other professional hopefuls do competing against each other.

It's the next step for what he hopes to be an NFL, or CFL, career.

"I am back at Lehigh and I will be graduating this spring," he said.  "My weeks are busy as I balance school and going home to train for combines. I do have representation with Brian Anderson and ARN Sports and I am hoping to get into a few schools pro days and even some regional combines.

"As of now my goal is to play football for as long as I can. Obviously making it onto an NFL team is always the main goal, but playing in the CFL is also something that interests me.   The whole process is a lot of fun for me, and I am really exited to see how things play out."

The all-star game will probably usher in some time where Kurfis will be attending different combines to attact the notice of pro scouts.

One person that Lee will be keeping posted about his progress to professional football is WR Ryan Spadola, a good friend who, now, Kurfis has beaten in the record books.

Kurfis broke Ryan's record for receptions in a season, hauling in 99 passes in 2013 and putting him as a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, the preeminent individual trophy in FCS.  (This season, the award went to Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo.)

Despite all of Ryan's success at Lehigh, Kurfis has that one over him.

"Ryan has been made well aware where he stands in the record book when it comes to receptions in a season," he said, "but whenever I try to brag he quickly reminds me where I stand when it comes to the single season total receiving yards record. It's funny because we both are #1 and #2 when it comes to these records.

"Because I'm going through the same process Ryan went through just a year ago, we often keep in touch. He's always one of the first people I go to when I need advice about something, he continues being a great resource for me and I am greatly appreciative for our relationship."

It's bound to be a ride that Lehigh Nation will be following closely in the coming months.

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