Our latest commitment isn't much of a shock, as tomloy2002 has been reporting in the GBI forums all week that Lee was a likely commit. It looks like the message board rumors are true for once, as Mike Lee became Purdue's latest commitment this morning. With him, we now have three solid linebackers in our 2010 class that can make a difference almost immediately.
Lee comes to us from Pittsburgh, where he is a 2-star Rivals rated recruit witht he same size as our latest three-star, Mike Gilliam. Lee didn't hav e as many high offers as Gilliam. We beat him out over a couple of MAC schools and Syracuse. Michigan and Michigan State had shown some interest, but Lee is a major fan of Purdue's academics. His commitment is at a position that has been a major position of need for some time. We have developed a couple of solid starters for this season, but depth is still an issue. It is a position that has been very weak since about 2004.
Lee has been a two-way player at Woodland Hills, also seeing time on offense at Tight End. Most of his Rivals highlights show him on the offensive side of hte ball, which is probably why he rates lower on their scale strictly as a linebacker. Woodland Hills was a pretty average 4-5 last seaosn, but still had a couple of D-1 prospects. Three of the five losses were by a touchdown or less, so they were a competitive team.
To me, Lee seems to be a similar type of player to Gilliam and previous commit William Lucas. Gilliam has put up solid individual numbers, helping turn around a historically moribund program. Lucas isn't highly rated, but he ahs performed very well for a powerfaul program. Lee plays for a strong program in a strong football state while still putting up good number. Woodland Hills had a down year last year, but he has still played well enough to get noticed.
Lee's size is a major upside. we seem to be recruiting bigger linebackers in this class. Those on our current roster that are expected to provide depth this year like Antwon Higgs and Tyler Haston are of a similar size. Since most of Lee's Rivals highlights feature him as a tight end I haven't been able to find anything that shows his hitting ability. It is hard to judge his defensive instincts as well.
I still think Lucas will project slightly ahead of him even though he is a smaller player. Lucas has put up stats on a very good team and will make people notice him this year. There is also no guarantee Lee will stay at linebacker. He could very well end up playing tight end for us. It is a good pickup because he gives us yet another versatile player with size. I am excited that he was anxious to get on board early like so many of our other recruits. At this time last year I think we had only Ishmael Aristide. Now we have 11 guys ready to go.