Blue Springs DE an Unexpected Star in 2012
With all that's happened to him over the past six months, Elijah Lee isn't quite ready for the New Year. "I wasn't expecting to have the season I did." The 6-foot-3, 210-pound defensive end from Blue Springs High School was the most unlikely of stars for the Wildcats in 2012. After transferring from St. Joseph Central in May, nobody was sure what to expect. "It's crazy," Lee says, shaking his head. "Last year, I played defensive end, then moved to linebacker. I started the entire season but only had four or five sacks and not too many tackles." Lee entered his junior year as a relative unknown, earning the starting nod in week one. He became a force at the defensive end spot, and four months later, had 72 tackles and 15.5 sacks to his credit. He claimed First Team All-League, All-Metro, and All-State honors, and was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Suburban Big 6 Conference. He was also named the 2012 recipient of the Buck Buchanan Award as the top lineman or linebacker in the Kansas City area. "I knew Blue Springs was a big program that had a lot of good athletes. To turn it around, to be surrounded by good players in a big program," he recalls, trailing off. "It's great to have the season I did." Lee's emergence was critical to Blue Springs' run to the Missouri Class 6 State Championship. "All we heard about was the St. Louis schools and their defenses," he says, showing the same confidence he did all season long. "But after the first game in the playoffs against Liberty, seeing our offense score that many points and what our defense could do, I knew it was the start of something special." Special doesn't begin to describe what Lee achieved in 2012. His standout junior year drew the attention of a handful of college programs, and the list is sure to grow. "I don't really have any offers yet," he says with a shrug. "I've gotten mail from Iowa, Illinois, and some stuff from K-State. I've talked to Coach Andy Hill from Missouri a couple of times, too." With a full season on the gridiron under his belt, Lee is playing basketball for the Wildcats. Once the weather warms up, his focus will shift to football and recruiting. "I haven't gotten a chance to plan what all camps I'm going to yet. I know for sure I'm going to Kansas State, Iowa, and Mizzou for one-day camps." "I want to try and be 225 to 230 by next season."
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