by Sherri Blevins
Justin Lea ,of Dekalb County, has reached another milestone in his distinguished athletic career. Following the 2018 NFL Draft, Lea has been invited to try out for the New York Jets. Lea, a former Jacksonville State star, was listed alongside Reggie Hall, another Jacksonville State Gamecock in the list of players invited to the Jets camp. The minicamp will take place in May.
During Lea’s college career he was named to the 2017 Associated Press FCS All-American Team. Lee was selected as a first team offensive lineman. He was first named to the FCS All-American Team as a freshman in 2013. He has since received the award both in 2016 and 2017. Lea played more snaps than any other JSU lineman in 2017 leading a team that placed all five starters on the All-OVC squad. He played offensive lineman on the four-time defending OVC champion Jacksonville State football team. He set a new OVC and JSU record for consecutive starts during the 2017 season, ending his career with the honor of starting in all 51 games as a JSU Gamecock. For three consecutive years, he was named as a first team ALL-OVC offensive lineman, as well as, being named to the second-team as a freshman. He is the first OVC offensive lineman to earn ALL-OVC nods in every season he played.
Lea was also recognized for his success off the field as well. The National Football Foundation selected him as a member of the 2017 NFF Scholarship Athlete Class and a finalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy. The William V. Campbell Trophy is also referred to as the “Academic Heisman Award”. He is the first Gamecock and the first Ohio Valley Conference student-athlete to be named as a finalist for the award.
While earning his degree in emergency management and geography, Lea maintained a 3.92 grade point average and finished his degree in only three and one half years.
Lea is the son of Jeff and Carrie Lea of Henagar and a graduate of Ider High School.