The seventh player on my list is Malcolm Lee, a defensive lineman and JUCO product from Iowa Western CC.
He had multiple offers before choosing Kansas including Iowa State, Iowa, Louisville, UCF and Houston. Lee is also listed as a sophomore so he’ll have three years of eligibility left.
At the moment, though, Lee is wrapped up in a bit of a legal situation. In mid-June he was reportedly arrested for suspicion of DUI. There hasn’t been any additional information from KU Athletics and he’s still listed on the roster, so I’m assuming he’s still with the team.
Having said that, Lee is a guy Kansas absolutely needs. He’s a beast on the defensive line as he stands 6’5 and weighs 285 lbs.
He also recorded 43 tackles, 10 of those for loss, and included five sacks in 2017. Those are impressive stat lines especially for a freshman.
He added 10 tackles and 2.5 for loss last season. Although I can’t find confirmation, I’m assuming Lee finished last year with a medical red-shirt as he’s listed as a sophomore on the Kansas roster.
What stands out about Lee the most is his patience and his nose for the ball. He’s not the most athletic defensive lineman on the field, but he plays smart and he goes after the ball. Lee will be a great asset to Kansas especially in the run game.
He also has a strong first move when getting by the defender. And with his size he takes up a ton of space and will at times occupy more than one blocker. This will all translate well to the new 3-4 look the Kansas defense will have this fall.
If the current legal issues with Lee are taken care of in a manner that allows him to stay with Kansas, I expect big things from the JUCO product. I see him as a starter and potentially being the leading sacker on the team.
I predict he’ll have 30 tackles with around three or four sacks. And throw in a few forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for good measure.
Either way, if Lee does end up playing this year, he will be a force and could provide a much smoother transition from losing Daniel Wise.