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9 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Elijah Lee

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In which BracketCat counts down the ninth day until kickoff with a profile of linebacker Elijah Lee.

Elijah Lee was an extremely pleasant surprise last season. Now we need him to be a team leader.
Elijah Lee was an extremely pleasant surprise last season. Now we need him to be a team leader.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
ElijahLee

#9 Elijah Lee
True Sophomore
6-3 | 218
Blue Springs, Mo.

Bio

Position: Linebacker

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Elijah James Lee (b. Feb. 8, 1996) is a high-motor linebacker and rush end who made an immediate impact on passing downs as a true freshman and will look to become a regular starter at one of the linebacker spots in 2015.

Lee, who earned 2015 preseason All-Big 12 honors from Athlon and Phil Steele, is part of the famed "Blue Springs Trio," along with fellow Wildcats Kaleb Prewett and Dalvin Warmack. He chose K-State over rising interest from Iowa and Northern Illinois, along with Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, plus offers from Toledo and Wyoming.

He had a stellar debut in 2014, playing in all 13 games and totaling 19 tackles, including 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. In fact, he recorded the most sacks by a true freshman in school history and the second most among all freshmen. His sack total was the most among all true freshmen in the Big 12 in 2014.

Lee started the season off with two sacks against Stephen F. Austin, becoming the first true freshman under head coach Bill Snyder to record two sacks in a game. He also recorded sacks against Texas and Kansas, and half a sack at Iowa State. He registered a career-high four tackles against UTEP.

Lee played for the Blue Springs High School Wildcats under head coach Kelly Donohoe. He is a two-time recipient of the Buck Buchanan Memorial Award, given to the best lineman or linebacker in the top two high school classes in Kansas or Missouri high school football in the Kansas City area, and only the second two-time winner of the award.

He was selected as the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) Class 6 Defensive Player of the Year, while he was a unanimous pick for the MFCA All-State squad in 2013. Lee also was named first team all-state by the Missouri media in 2013 and was selected to the American Family Insurance All-USA Missouri Team.

Named to the MaxPreps Junior All-American team in 2012, Lee also was a first-team all-state honoree by both the coaches and media as a junior, as well as a two-time Kansas City Star All-Metro honoree.

Lee was rated the 39th-best outside linebacker nationally by Scout.com and the 41st by Rivals.com.

He recorded 85 tackles, including 36 for loss and 12 sacks as a senior after collecting 71 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, and 18.5 sacks in 2012. He also participated in basketball, earning all-conference and all-district honors.