June 10, 2012

Lee impresses everyone on both sides of the ball

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Follow Noon | Givler | Birmingham

There were few prospects at Sunday's Ohio State senior camp that were more athletically gifted than New Albany (Ohio) star Darron Lee and the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder did his best to show why he should be considered one of the best prospects in Central Ohio with a performance that made many in attendance stop and take notice, including several Ohio State coaches.

Lee started the day with a 35 inch vertical leap during the testing period and carried that right over into working out with the top group of defensive backs and wide receivers, right under the eyes of Urban Meyer, Everett Withers and Kerry Coombs.

At this point Lee holds in the neighborhood of a dozen offers but not one from the Buckeyes at this point. Several schools from the Big Ten, Big East and even as far away as the Pac-12 have all made the move on him but not the Buckeyes yet. Lee left everything on the field on Sunday in front of the Buckeyes to show that he is up to par for an offer from the hometown team.

"They wanted me to come to camp just to see where I would fit in and because they know that I am an athlete, they said to come to camp so they could see what I can do," Lee said. "They put me everywhere and I didn't really get a chance to throw (the ball) but I just mainly did wide receiver, corner and safety stuff today."

The effort paid off and Lee said later on Sunday that the Buckeyes would like to talk to Lee on Monday and have him talk with coach Luke Fickell and Meyer to see where things stand with the three star athlete and the Buckeyes.

"I feel that I competed to the best of my ability, of course there is always room for improvement in everything and I am sure there are some things out there I could have done better, probably footwork," Lee said. "Competitive-wise I didn't want to sell myself short I wanted to be with the best every single repetition."

Lee worked out as both a defensive back and as a wide receiver for the coaches and during the one-on-one group spent all of his time with several of the top players at the camp including current four-star Vonn Bell who is the No. 155 player in the nation according to Rivals.com. Lee did not shy away from the challenge of Bell, who was arguably one of the top players at the camp, and Lee performed at the same high level rep after rep.

"We had a pretty heavy position group for wide receivers and corners and it was very competitive," Lee said. "Vonn Bell and I just went at it. He and I go way back, I knew him from when he used to live in Tennessee."

The group included several other highly respected players like Caleb Day and 2014 Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway rising star Montae Nicholson just to name only a few. But it was both Lee and Bell that seemed to be attached at the hip, pushing one another.

"It was just competitive and I didn't want to lose, he didn't want to lose, he was just going to push me on everything and I was going to push him on everything," Lee said. "(In) one-on-ones he showed up and he did pretty well and I guess I did, too."

Lee admits that if an Ohio State offer comes, Monday or further down the line, that it will be hard to ignore and that the name of Urban Meyer has been a big deal for him going back to his childhood, before ever living in the state of Ohio.

"It would be huge, because when I lived in Tennessee coach Meyer was a household name," Lee said. "It would mean a lot."

With double digit offers, Lee has been told by different schools that he could line up at different spots, be it on defense in the secondary, offense at wide receiver or even at quarterback, a position that Lee didn't get the chance to work out at. It would be highly doubtful that Ohio State would consider Lee at quarterback and Lee understands that many schools project him elsewhere on the field.

"Wherever I can shine, if that is defense in their eyes then it is defense," Lee said. "It if it is offense and getting the ball in my hands then so be it."

But if Lee were given the power to pick his spot?

"I would have to say it would be on the offensive side, I like getting the ball in my hands," Lee said with a noticeable smile. "If that is wide receiver then that is fine but I wouldn't mind being a quarterback and being the leader."

We will be following up with Lee after he has a chance to talk to the Buckeyes on Monday to see if his status with the Buckeyes has changed. Keep it locked into BuckeyeGrove.com for all the latest with Lee.


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