Sean Lee: The Upper St. Clair Connection

First impressions often make or break a prospect in the recruiting game, but in the case of linebacker Sean Lee, it goes beyond that first look. What Lee presents are intangibles and upside that only can be seen through doing your homework. The Iowa Hawkeyes were one of the programs that did their homework correctly, and now could be on the verge of a verbal commitment.

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The Lee family just returned from vacationing at Hilton Head, South Carolina. They spent the day celebrating the birthday of Sean's grandmother. While Sean Lee was not available, his father Craig gave me the latest on his son's recruitment.

"Right now, Sean has offers from Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, Duke, and Miami(OH)," said Craig. "We have visited all of those schools, except for Iowa, and we'll be making our way out to Iowa City in the next few weeks. Sean would like to have a decision made before the start of his season."

Sean is also receiving significant interest from programs such as Boston College, Michigan State, Penn State, and Pittsburgh. As Hawkeye fans saw five years ago, Iowa surprised many Pennsylvania residents in their decision to offer Erie's Bob Sanders while Pitt and Penn State both took a pass.

Could the Hawkeyes have found another gem that was overlooked by the two local programs?

"I'm really not sure why offers haven't come yet, but I know the defensive coordinator at Pitt and Coach Bradley at Penn State both like Sean very much. Pitt's recruiting coordinator lives in our community, and had two sons graduate from our high school. We run into him a lot, and really it just comes down to whether Walt Harris wants to make the offer or not." Craig Lee said.

"To me, I think the program's that have offered have obviously done their homework. Sean is the starting point guard on our basketball team at a legit 6-feet-3 ½ and weights 215-pounds, and has played since his freshman year. His first year, the coach had him out guarding the toughest opponent. He just has that intensity and hard-nosed attitude that really reflects back onto his personality. It's all of his intangibles that I believe have piqued the interest of these program's."

While many of you know that Sean attends the same high school as Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Upper St. Clair, Sean's first contact with Ferentz came through the NFL.

"It's a funny story that I have shared with other reporters, and I will tell you as well. Around seven to eight years ago, we were at the Cleveland Browns training facility. It was three or four six graders and myself sitting at a table when one of the assistant coaches came up to speak with us. He asked us where were from, and we responded Pittsburgh, and let us know that is where he was raised. He then revealed he graduated from Upper St. Clair, and proceeded to speak with us for nearly 40 to 45 minutes. Now, it's just funny to think that he is recruiting that little sixth grader he took the time to speak with nearly seven or eight years ago." Craig Lee said.

Things are obviously different now for Ferentz than when he first met the Lee's, but the one thing that has remained constant during that time has been Ferentz's approach to his work.

"We have a lot of respect for Coach Ferentz and know he is one of the better types of people. He also has a great program. For example, while he is in Pittsburgh visiting his parents, he takes a morning jog by the stadium, but there was a seven on seven tournament taking place inside while he was in town. He joked with our head coach how he was ruining his jogging plans, just because that his how straight of a program he runs. He really cares for his players."


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