What's that? Oh, there is only 44 days until Boise State kicks off against Washington? And it is also a PALINDROME day? Is that right? Well then, we had better have a conversation about—Darren Lee
#44, Darren Lee, Junior, LB
Height: 6' 1"
High School: Lassen HS, Susanville, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
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.
Because when your last name is "Lee" it is going to happen.
Cory Monteith from "Glee."
Appeared in all 14 games last season in defense and special teams. 12 total tackles, 11 solo. Carried the Hammer for the October 17 game against Fresno and also in 2013 against Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl. Won a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award in 2014. So he hits hard and hits the books even harder. That's pretty awesome.
Linebackers. What can we say, or do, about the Boise State linebackers except get REALLY excited and do a bunch of fistpumps? Well, nothing, really except get excited and do a bunch of fistpumps (coincidentally enough, I get $0.05 every time I write the word "fistpump" so you're going to see this a few more times).
With an emphasis on the 4-2-5 defense, "only" two linebackers are projected to be utilized. As such, Vallejo and Weaver mostly have the starting spots on lockdown. But guess what? There is no shortage of talent and stud athletes waiting in the wings to take over if need be. Seeing Gray, Martarano (who will be getting plenty of time in his own right), and Lee on the depth chart should not be a cause for concern. Add in redshirt freshman Provenzano and Vander Esch, you have the makings of some dependable depth. Oh. Did I also mention that we have some true freshman in Berger and Hendrix who (should) sit a year that could be called on if things go awry?
As such Lee is going to be a fine backup, if necessary, and a great special teamer. I expect him to continue his habit of carrying the Hammer and being an all around stud on, and off, the field!
Is he on Twitter?
Don't believe so.
Completely Made Up Fact
Chess is Lee's favorite leisurely pastime. In his quest to master his Chess craft Lee was the silent backer, and consult, for the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. Lee had to leave midway through, unfortunately, because he felt the Chess scenarios in the movie were "too juvenile."