I spoke with West Point football coach Chris Chambless (pictured above) on Friday. I’d been wanting to ask him about Markell Lee, the stud linebacker who transferred from Corinth. The rising senior was a Daily Journal All-Area first-teamer last year, but Chambless has never seen film on him and isn’t altering any preseason preparations on his account.
“Right now, we’re not even counting on him,” Chambless said. “It’s just going to be a bonus if we do get him.”
Chambless has spoken with Lee, an Ole Miss commit who has attended some summer workouts. Lee previously attended West Point until ninth grade.
Chambless was already confident about the Green Wave’s prospects for this season, despite the fact that only five starters total return from last year’s Division 4-4A champion. The entire offensive line, which featured two all-staters last year, is being replaced. Chambless said there is plenty of talent, it’s just untested.
“I couldn’t even begin to make a prediction on how we’ll be,” he said. “We are talented, there’s no question about that. It’s just if we can put it all together.”
One place West Point won’t be hurting is quarterback. Junior Michael Carr, a standout defensive back the past two seasons, will step into the role. A super athlete, he fits the mold of his run-first predecessors; and like those QBs, he can pass when needed.
Carr has been doing some 7-on-7 this summer, and he threw three touchdown passes in the first half of West Point’s spring game.
“We’re going to throw the ball 7-10 times a game,” Chambless said, “and we’re going to be real efficient when we do.”
What gives Chambless the most confidence, though, is an intangible. Already, he sees the kind of team chemistry that can take a team far, with or without Markell Lee.
“The kids are very supportive of each other, whether it be in the classroom, weightroom, inside the locker room,” Chambless said. “They get along better than any I’ve had since I’ve been here. You always have your problems, but it makes it a lot easier to solve those problems when everybody gets along.”