- Billy Tucker, Scouts, Football Recruiting
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Missouri's been hot on the field this fall and is now heating up on the trail. Friday, the Tigers grabbed outside linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central), their second ESPN 300 pledge of the week. Read below to see how our scouts think Lee will contribute at Mizzou.
What he brings: Lee is a tall, rangy backer who can really run, close and make plays at linebacker. He possesses great length and long-striding speed needed to chase plays down outside the hashes and close on the ball in coverage. While not a real stout downhill filler at this stage, he is a highly productive sideline-to-sideline defender and we feel the size and strength will eventually come to assist him as an inside run stopper. This solid tackler can get up field, pressure and close for big plays behind the line of scrimmage and really has a lot of upside when you look at his size and athleticism.
How he fits: Missouri is proving it has an SEC-caliber defense this fall and its building toward a positive future with prospects such as Lee. The Tigers landed a smart and athletic linebacker who will be able match up in space while being sound in his assignments. The long and athletic, fast-closing linebacker fits well in their scheme. He is active and opportunistic when it comes to creating big plays and turnovers. Lee will likely start off as a weak-side linebacker, which will allow him to play covered-up more and will make plays with his range until he gains the necessary bulk to stack the run inside.
Prediction for performance: Lee has the athleticism, closing ability and range the Tigers are going to want to utilize early, but we feel the best football is still ahead of him and he might be most productive later on in his career after time in the weight room. Still, it will be hard to keep him off the field and we do think he will work his way into early sub packages and also be an early standout on special teams.
How the class is shaping up: Missouri is doing well on the recruiting trail, having recently moved into the top 40 with the pickup of ESPN 300 offensive lineman Andy Bauer (St. Louis, Mo./De Smet Jesuit), and now they add a top-20 OLB in Lee. The Tigers' second ESPN 300 pickup could lead to more movement up the rankings next week as their success on the field has recruits taking notice.
2dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney