We roll on with our "Bucks to the Future" series with commit Darron Lee. If there's one thing about recruiting that people tend to be awestruck about, it's the number of stars a player has next to his name, and how many four and five star players a team has. To be sure, the class of 2013 has plenty of high profile recruits, but more often than not it's the three star guys that end up making a name for themselves when it's all said and done.
Lee is a kid that got a lot of offers early on, but none from one would consider a 'blue blood' program. But this Ohio kid wasn't content with a multitude of mid-level offers, and would have to work his tail off to impress Ohio State coaches. In the end, hard work and effort won the day, and Lee got the one offer he was looking for.
40 time: Anywhere from 4.4 to 4.61, depending on what website on what day you visit.
High School: New Albany, New Albany, OH
When Darron Lee started emerging as an FBS level prospect, it was during his junior year at New Albany. He turned heads as a two position athlete during his junior year, and his stock soon began to rise. His first offer came from Boston College, and soon, other schools followed, as the likes of Marshall, Duke, Miami, Illinois, and Minnesota soon came calling. Northern Illinois and Purdue also offered, but Lee still hadn't been offered by the one school he coveted an offer from--Ohio State.
Lee he wanted to play quarterback at the next level, but he was also being projected as a safety. Although the Buckeye coaching staff was interested in Lee, they wanted to see more from him before extending a 'commitable offer' to him. He attended 2 Ohio State sponsored camps, the the Elite 11 and a three day OSU camp, both held in Columbus back in June.
At the Elite 11, the first of the two camps, Lee stood out on both sides of the ball. He went head to head with such quarterback recruits as Shane Morris and Max Staver, and as a defensive back he matched the likes of Vonn Bell drill for drill. After that camp, Lee talked about the expectations the OSU staff had for him going in:
"They wanted me to come to camp just to see where I would fit in because I am an athlete," Lee said. "They said they wanted to see what I can do and they put me everywhere. I didn’t get a chance to throw or warm up, but I did mainly wide receiver, corner and safety stuff."
The Elite 11 camp showing wasn't enough to get a scholarship offer, so Lee took matters into his own hands and came back for the Ohio State-sponsored Senior Advanced Camp two weeks later. At that camp, he worked primarily at linebacker, as opposed to defensive back, and once again, he shined.
After the three day mini camp, the Ohio State coaching staff had seen the effort, talent, and desire in Lee, and offered him the one scholarship he wanted above all others. He mulled it over for all of about 10 minutes before he said yes. Lee was officially a Buckeye, and the 13th member of the class of 2013:
"A big shout out to Coach Fickell from me," Lee exclaimed. "He really went to the wall for me to get offered, and he told me he was going to fight for me to be a Buckeye. He means a lot to me, and the same for Coach (Everett) Withers and Coach (Kerry) Coombs, because they were on my side as well. Obviously, I would run through a wall for this coaching staff for giving me this opportunity."
Lee's persistence and dedication was a constant theme throughout his recruitment, and although he prefers to play quarterback, he is a team first person and has repeatedly said he will do whatever it takes at whatever position to be a contributor for the Buckeyes. His high character is always mentioned when his coaches talk about him, and it's nice to see someone get rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
Although Lee is a 247Composite three star recruit, that work ethic continued to pay off throughout Lee's senior year, as he picked up a fourth star from Scout.com, and he continued to climb up the ranks of Ohio's top recruits.
Although his measureables don't necessarily bear it out just yet, Lee has been projected as a bit of a 'tweener. He's coming to OSU as a safety, but his height and potential to add weight to his frame makes more than one person feel he could eventually move to linebacker. But he could just as easily project to defensive back, or wide receiver, or even quarterback. That will eventually work to his advantage moving forward, but it will more than likely work to his disadvantage in 2013.
As Eric mentioned in his excellent secondary breakdown earlier, the talent above Lee right now is pretty impressive, and as much as you like his grit and determination, it's tough to see him climbing above the likes of Vonn Bell and Jayme Thompson. But he's not big enough to be a linebacker yet, either. And that seems where Lee is most intriguing. I don't know that he'll redshirt, but I don't see a lot of playing time for him either. I think Mickey Marotti will work to get weight and muscle on Lee in his freshman year, and then the staff will re-evaluate Darron and put him in the best position to succeed.
And if he does ens up at linebacker, well, it's not like Ohio State doesn't have a track record of defensive backs becoming pretty formidable linebackers.
And with Lee's determination, he will succeed somewhere with Ohio State.
Highlight Jam Session:
One Of These Things Is Blatantly False:
- Darron's mom Candice is a television reporter and anchor for channel 4.
- Darron did not grow up a fan of Ohio State.
- Darron has a 36.5" vertical jump
- In track and field, his events are the high jump, the 200, the 400, and the 4X400
- Most of his family is from Cincinnati but are still big Ohio State fans