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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Kansas State picks up OLB Lee

By Damon Sayles

The moment Elijah Lee (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs) picked up his first Big 12 offer earlier this month, two questions seemed to linger.

First, would Lee join his good friend? Second, what position would be play?

Lee got the best of both worlds on Tuesday, as the 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker/defensive end hybrid committed to Kansas State. Lee became the Wildcats’ fourth overall commit in the 2014 recruiting class, and he also joined his good friend and high school teammate, running back Dalvin Warmack, in the class.

Lee has offers from Wyoming and Toledo and interest from Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois. Kansas State will get a player who recorded 71 tackles -- 33.5 of those for a loss -- and an impressive 18.5 sacks as a pass-rusher.

“It was the connection with the coaches, and it’s another place where I have family, so it’s like a home away from home,” Lee said. “They have a top engineering program, which will help me be successful after college.”

Lee helped Blue Springs win the Missouri Class 6 state title in December. Recruited to Kansas State by quarterbacks coach Del Miller, Lee said he will play outside linebacker at the next level.

“It releases a lot of stress,” Lee said of ending his recruiting process.

What Lee’s commitment means for Kansas State is huge. In addition to Lee and Warmack being teammates, Blue Springs also has two of the best players in the state of Missouri. Warnack was named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year and won the Thomas A. Simone Award, given to the top player in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Lee won the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top large-school lineman or linebacker in the Kansas City area.

Lee and Warmack have known each other since they were young, and Warmack was Kansas State’s first commitment of the 2014 class, as he gave his verbal pledge at the beginning of the month. How much did Warmack’s commitment persuade Lee?

“A little bit,” he said, “but what pulled me in is that I’ll be a linebacker instead of a defensive end in college.”

Lee runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. He also said he bench-presses 275 pounds and squats 375.