There are 44 days until kickoff, so today's profile is on No. 44, Darren Lee.
#44, Darren Lee, True Freshman, Linebacker
Weight: 210 lbs
Hometown: Susanville, California
High School: Lassen
How'd he get to The BlueTM?
Lee had the unique opportunity to be part of two Boise State recruiting classes, which meant double the hype and double the times Jeff Caves mentions your name in a Buffalo Wild Wings. Lee joined officially in the 2010 class before leaving to serve a two-year mission; upon returning - and upon all of us forgetting who he was - he was lumped in with the 2013 recruits, too.
Why did Boise State choose to recruit a player who would be on church-mandated layaway? Maybe it's because Lee was a multi-sport star at Lassen High (track and wrestling, plus football) and a strong two-way player. In his two years with the varsity, he recorded 141 tackles and rushed for over 1,300 rushing yards. As a senior, Lee was named first-team All-State for Division III and the Northern Athletic League Defensive Most Valuable Player. Boise State liked it, so they put a ring on it.
Lee the Flea
Linebacker Josh Groban
Lee has only had one spring as a participating member of the Boise State football team, so we'll take highlights where we can get them:
Play of the day: True freshman linebacker Darren Lee grabbed a tip-drill interception on a pass that was deflected by at least two players before it reached him.
He's got hand-eye coordination! That will be helpful.
When Lee committed to play for the Broncos, Derrell Acrey was the team's starting middle linebacker, so yeah, it's been awhile. The linebacker landscape now features Blake Renaud, Tyler Gray, Ben Weaver, and others - nine linebackers total (including incoming freshmen) and two spots to fill. Given Lee's build and assuming the squalor of missionary life didn't cause significant weight loss, he projects to play the weakside linebacker role somewhere on the depth chart behind Tyler Gray. Lee has the advantage of being present for spring practice, which should give him a head start over fellow true freshmen Tanner Vallejo and Joey Martarano. He is also in his twenties, which makes him world-wise and grounded and old-man savvy. He also has the freshest of fresh legs, having not played football since 2009. If Lee can't ascend the depth chart, Boise State may use the redshirt on him, meaning he would graduate from school at a ripe old Chris Weinke age.
Completely made up fact
Darren Lee is my brother.