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Better Know a Freshman: Devonta Lee

Lee has the makings of a physical possession receiver or tight end.


There has always been a battle to reclaim north Louisiana in the name of LSU after Nick Saban and Alabama appeared to build up a stronghold in the area. It took until this year and a stronger emphasis in the area to make a dent up there, successfully getting two from the area in Trey Palmer and Devonta Lee. Adding those two gives Mickey Joseph one of the deepest positions on the roster.

The Story

Most who follow recruiting would have already penciled in Lee to LSU, especially with his teammate Ishmael Sophser a heavy Alabama lean, even leading on LSU through most of the season. Orgeron and Joseph used the haul from 2018 (Chase, Marshall) and the emergence of Justin Jefferson to set their sights on north Louisiana to get their feet wet in the area that had not been too kind the past few years. Getting his final official visit the weekend before National Signing Day proved to be the deciding factor, as Lee signed with LSU a few days later over the likes of Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

The Numbers

110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.

100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.

97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.

89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.

79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.

247 Composite Rating: ****

247 Composite Ranking: .9312

Listed as an athlete due to his ability to play both wide receiver and safety (or a Jacoby Stevens-esque position at LSU) at the next level, Lee started off as one of the top juniors in the nation before falling down to the 130s. Possibly the uncertainty of his position at the next level caused his drop or the famed Alabama rankings push died as he looked more towards LSU, but Lee stayed as a top-10 athlete in the nation.

The Film

If you had questions about Lee’s versatility, his film showcases him doing a variety of things at an elite level on both sides of the ball. As a safety, Lee does a good job at playing center field in tracking the ball the air, and also shows numerous times his ability to get up to the line and make a tackle or big hit. On offense, there is a deceptive speed to Lee’s game. He doesn’t look like he has top-end speed, but he is constantly behind the secondary and getting around the corner. Amite’s quarterback is not the most accurate around, but Lee shows a strong catch radius and leaping ability to bring down a number of passes.

The Future

Like I mentioned earlier, the 2018 class crowded the depth chart for this upcoming season. Chase, Marshall and Jefferson look to have the starting spots locked down as Dee Anderson digs his way out of the doghouse with his conditioning suspension. Both Anderson and Derrick Dillon are seniors, while Jefferson could leave early if he improves on his numbers from last season, creating a lot of playing time. However, a strong 2020 WR class for LSU could give Lee a challenge once again.

There’s talk that Lee could move to a tight end in this new Joe Brady offense which sort of coincides with my thought process that Lee could be a perfect possession receiver on the inside with the frame and catch radius he sports.

High End: Despite not having that elite speed, Lee carves out a career dominating the middle of the field like an Anquan Boldin-type receiver.

Low End: There’s too many positional dilemmas with Lee and moving him around too much where he continuously gets buried on the depth chart with a lack of reps.

Realisitic: I don’t think he can put up the numbers like Boldin did with the way offenses are these days, but I see a good career of Lee moving the chains on those third and short passing downs.