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Just call this incoming, multi-dimensional Cougar 'Dangerous' Damion Lee

DAN MURPHY has been coaching high school football for nearly a quarter of a century. In that time, he says, no player has worked harder to develop his skills than future Washington State safety/nickel Damion Lee.

“I knew, whoever landed Damion’s services, they would be getting a complete player who will put the team before himself,” Murphy, the head coach at Palm Springs High, tells

The superlatives for’s No. 8 “athlete” prospect in California (and No. 77 in the nation) roll out of Murphy.

“His quickness and overall speed made him one of the most dangerous players in our area,” the coach says. “He is a great leader and also, extremely coachable. His biggest strength would have to be his work ethic."

He adds, “Damion is a competitor. He is aggressive and confident.”

The “athlete” designation for the 6-1, 180-pound Lee in recruiting databases is understandable. He played defensive back and receiver (17 catches for 477 yards and 7 TDs in 2016) for PSHS, and he also took a few turns at defensive end in the school's 2015 championship run. In addition, he is a standout in basketball and track, and owns the PSHS record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.59 seconds.

"One of the faster guys on the list, a truly fast guy that has a great frame to put on more weight," WSU coach Mike Leach said of Lee yesterday.

The 3-star prospect verbally committed to WSU in October and signed his letter of intent yesterday. He chose WSU over BYU -- a decision no doubt helped by the fact Lee has two cousins who attend WSU.

“Damion is unique and in a class by himself,” says Murphy. “Over the years, we’ve had some great players, but Damion’s speed sets him apart from all of those players.”

What helped Lee develop into the player he is today was winning the battle between his ears.

“I would have to say that, as his confidence grew, so did his production and playmaking ability,” Murphy said. “Damion worked extremely hard during the off-seasons to perfect his craft and it definitely showed during the past two seasons.”

Lee’s multi-dimensional skills present a wide opportunity in his football future, Murphy says.

“The thing that will be interesting is to watch and see where Damion ends up playing at Washington State,” Murphy said. “I know that he was recruited as a defensive back, but with the type of offense that Coach Leach runs, it will be hard not to put him at a wideout and watch him fly! Damion is used to playing multiple positions … wherever he is placed, he will work to become the best at his position.”

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