When I headed out on Friday night to check out some high school football action in central Ohio, I didn’t know what a treat I was in for.
A few hours and 6 touchdowns later and it was easy to conclude that Ohio State’s 13th commitment is another highly underrated 3-star steal for the Buckeyes.
I am, of course, talking about New Albany athlete Darron Lee, who I went to see play this past Friday against Olentangy Orange.
When Lee committed at the end of June the speculation was that he showed at camp that he could play LB at the next level.
Most people think that is where he was offered at and where he committed to play in Columbus.
Well, after watching him leading the New Albany offense live at QB, I am not ready to pigeon hole him into any one position just yet.
On offense, Lee went 3-6 throwing for 93 yards and 2 TDs- he won’t be playing QB at Ohio State.
Outside of his throwing, though, he showed the ability to allude defenders with the ball in his hands as a runner.
Lee rushed for 136 yards and 4 TDs on 9 carries. Those are some impressive numbers for a someone expected to play defense at the next level.
He also lined up as punt returner which adds to his versatility as an offensive weapon.
Lee’s ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands was fun to watch and at 6’2″ 200 lbs I think he could make for a nice possession receiver for the Buckeyes.
It is certainly something interesting to think about, particularly as Urban Meyer continues to look for playmakers for his offense.
In the midst of the impressive offensive performance, Lee also lined up at safety on defense in what looked like a cover 1 defense. Once again, safety of linebacker is where most people are projecting him to play in the future.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the secondary while he was on the field; he generally had deep coverage responsibilities which kept him out of most plays.
He was able to get in on a few plays, however, and he showed a willingness to make some hits.
It was Coach Fickell who offered Lee at LB after viewing him live at camp. Based on Fickell’s track record with LBs, that should tell you a lot about Lee’s potential there.
From what I saw, Lee has the frame and speed to cover in space from the LB position in addition to really getting after the QB off the edge.
I would like to see more of him playing closer to the line of scrimmage to see how he does in traffic shedding blocks from big offensive linemen and TEs before I would say that he is a surefire linebacker at the next level.
The bottom line is that after watching Lee live I am sold on him coming to Ohio State as an athlete. His ability is obvious and finding a position for him at Ohio State will be fun to watch- whether that be at LB, S or even possibly somewhere on offense.
Best of all he is a local kid that earned an offer at camp! I will be rooting for him throughout his career at any position.
Here are some defensive highlights from his junior year: