Ja’mion Franklin, Shane Lee, Thomas Booker

Elite ’19 linebacker has Irish connections

Notre Dame already has top targets identified in the ’19 class, including elite linebacker Shane Lee. The Baltimore prospect has some links to other Irish prospects and he spoke to Irish Illustrated about his recruitment.

With four-star linebacker Matt “Bo” Bauer firmly committed to their 2018 class, the Irish got started on the next cycle’s linebacker search in March by offering four-star Baltimore prospect, Shane Lee.

Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Clemson, LSU and Nebraska are among the top schools to offer Lee, considered one of the top 2019 linebackers in the country.

Lee recently competed in The Opening Regional in D.C. where he ran into another Notre Dame recruit.

“I think I did well,” Lee said. “It was a good overall experience. I got to go against good competition and just have fun. I was 6-foot-0, 236 (pounds). I saw Ja’mion (Franklin) there.”

Franklin, Lee and another Notre Dame target, defensive end Thomas Booker, played on the same defense in 2015 at The Gilman High School in Baltimore, before Franklin moved on to North Caroline and Lee transferred to St. John’s Prep.

“I know them well,” Lee said. “We talk frequently, those are my friends. We became brothers over last season and we continue to act as such. We’re always talking and checking up on each other and things like that. Just to get out on the field with those guys again, it’s really fun.”

After making the move from Gilman to St. John’s, Lee will be making another transfer to St. Francis, also in Baltimore.

“The transfer from St. John’s to St. Francis is just the best decision for my family and I,” Lee said. “I have the opportunity to get college credits in my junior year and my senior year. I just felt like that was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on. I don’t think I can early enroll, but I definitely want to get that leg up and get started on my degree and try to knock out as many classes as I can while I’m under that scholarship, because that’s huge to have that opportunity.”

Lee has his priorities outlined when it comes to making his college decision.

“What I look for when I go visit a college, I look for the people that I’m going to be around,” Lee said. “I look at what the school has to offer. Life after football is really important to my family and I. Just the overall environment that I’m going to be in, something that is going to set me up for the real world. Something that I’m going to enjoy in the time that I’m going to be there. Something that will set me up for my future and allow me to do the things that I want to do.”

With an Irish offer on the table, a visit to South Bend is in the works for Lee and his family.

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” Lee said. “I think sometime upcoming, probably this summer. I’ll get up there and get to meet the coaches and everything like that. I’ll see the campus and I look forward to that.”

Lee likes what hears about the Irish, but he wants to learn more.

“I like rich history,” Lee said. “It’s a Catholic school, which is different. It sets them apart from other schools. It’s just interesting to have that dynamic. I’m excited to learn more about the school.”

One of Lee’s teammates from the 2016 St. John’s defense signed with the Irish on National Signing Day.

“I’ve talked to Kofi (Wardlow), who’s committed there,” Lee said. “I’ve talked to Thomas and Ja’mion too. They love the school, they’ve been there. It’s time for me to get up there and make my own opinion on it.

“When I got the offer, (Wardlow) was really excited for me. I’m definitely going to come visit him when he gets up there, come watch him play. We talk a little bit, but he’s not pressuring me about it.”

Lee believes the Irish are getting a quality player in Wardlow.

“He’s just a hard worker, honestly,” Lee said. “He’s new to football. He’s just been playing for a couple years. He’s a great athlete, he’s willing to work, he’s willing to learn, he’s just a great teammate. He’s another good friend of mine.”

With many visits on his agenda and offers rolling in, Lee is only getting started with his recruiting process.

“I honestly don’t know,” Lee said. “I still haven’t been around everyone I want to meet. All the coaches, things like that. I think I’m going to use my time wisely and when I’m ready, I’m ready.’


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