Shane Lee said he had been to Michigan and Ohio State four or five times. He’d been to Penn State about six times. He couldn’t count all of the times he visited Maryland. It only took one visit to Alabama for the Crimson Tide to land his commitment.
Lee, a 4-star inside linebacker from St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), visited Tuscaloosa April 12 and stayed through Sunday. Because he was able to stay for numerous days, Lee had a chance to see everything the school offered and had several conversations with various staff members, including coach Nick Saban.
“The biggest moment for me was just sitting down and talking to Coach Saban and hearing him talk about how he runs the program and just everything they do,” Lee told SEC Country. “They put the kids in unbelievable situations from getting internship opportunities to bringing in speakers to talk to them about different things in life. Then you get to go on the field and compete against the best and get better every day. And then you get to go to national championships and get a nice, big ring. It’s not easy there. Nothing worth having comes easy, and that’s how I like it.”
The nation’s No. 3 inside linebacker didn’t silently commit to Alabama while on his visit. Instead, he and his family traveled back to Maryland and discussed all of the schools they had visited.
The Lees sat down as a family, got their priorities in schools in line and figured out which school could best help him achieve the most in football and in life. There was only one school that he felt offered a good mixture of both.
So, during a conversation with Saban on Tuesday, Lee decided that he needed to commit to the Tide.
“[Saban] told me that I wasn’t just committing to football, but I was committing to a lifestyle — the Alabama lifestyle that he and the coaches have created,” Lee said. “It’s something bigger than myself, and it’s going to take a lot of work. He told me that as long as I’m ready to commit to that then he’d be happy to take me and help me grow.”
Lee, who is planning on studying business marketing at Alabama, is former teammates with Class of 2018 5-star Jack linebacker Eyabi Anoma. Lee said Anoma tried to get him to commit to the Tide after the latter signed with Alabama on National Signing Day.
But it’s what he said about his future teammate at Alabama that should excite fans for what’s to come.
“They’re getting someone who loves to compete,” Lee said of Anoma. “Honestly, I’ve never worked with somebody or against somebody who is as big of a competitor as he is. He hates losing. He’s smart and works hard, but his drive puts him over the top. That’s what makes him the best. He’ll be a top draft pick.”
Lee, the No. 1 prospect in Maryland, said he doesn’t plan on taking any visits elsewhere. His recruitment is over with.
What kind of player is Alabama getting in Lee?
“They are getting someone who is 100 percent committed to the team and the University of Alabama,” he said. “I’m going to give it my all for the team at all times.
“I try to help my teammates as much as possible, and I always try to be there for guys if they ever need someone to talk to. I’m always there. When we’re in the weight room and I see they can go something better, I always offer advice. I just always want my teammates to know that I’m always going to be there.”