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8 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Will Lee III

In which BracketCat counts down the eighth day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State cornerback Will Lee III.

#8 Tee Denson
The No. 8 jersey has not been worn by a defensive player since cornerback Tee Denson (8) transferred. Now a new and exciting JUCO cornerback, Will Lee III, steps into the Ocho spot.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images


#8 Will Lee III

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-3 | 185 lbs. | Kirkwood, Missouri
Will Lee III
Will Lee III
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Previous College: Iowa Western Community College
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

William “The Blanket” Lee III (b. April 9, 2003) is a talented, lengthy JUCO cornerback who transferred in from Iowa Western Community College and is majoring in social sciences.

Lee excels in both man and zone coverage, as well as catching misthrown balls.

He redshirted in 2021 and then played one season under head coach Scott Strohmeier at Iowa Western, where he was viewed as the 15th-best overall community college prospect in the Class of 2023 by On3, while the organization also rated him as the third-best community college cornerback in the class.

Lee also was ranked No. 24 among all community college prospects by ESPN, which viewed him as a safety and placed him No. 2 at that position at the community college level.

He earned first-team All-American, first-team all-conference, and all-region honors in 2022 after totaling 34 tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and 10 passes defended over 12 games in 2022, culminating with a NJCAA National Championship victory for the Reivers.

Lee totaled a season-high six tackles and three passes defended in the national title game.

He also returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown in Iowa Western’s national semifinal victory, broke up a pair of passes against Garden City, had five stops at Iowa Central and tallied his lone tackle for loss at Coffeyville.

Lee prepped under head coach Ferrell Shelton at Kirkwood (Mo.) High School, where he was an two-time all-conference selection who earned first-team all-state honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association in 2019.

He collected 61 tackles, including 14 for loss and four sacks as a junior, and also competed in basketball and track for the Pioneers.

Lee picked K-State over offers from Arkansas, Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida State, Hawai’i, Iowa, Louisiana, Middle Tennessee State, Oregon State, UAB, UT Martin and UTSA.

His uncle, Darrell Lee, was a four-year letter-winner as a defensive lineman at Florida from 2000 through 2003.

Here is what his position coach, assistant head coach Van Malone, had to say about him:

Will Lee is a guy who came in and has really locked into the scheme. He said it on the practice field a few times that things are starting to slow down for him. He’s a long, aggressive athlete and reminds me a little bit of Julius Brents. I look for big things from him.

“Will Lee has taken another step just by being here in the spring,” head coach Chris Klieman said elsewhere.