On the opening drive of the Panthers' first scrimmage in August against Good Counsel, St. Frances linebacker Shane Lee recorded a sack, and the rest of the season continued just as strongly as he led the Panthers to the No. 1 ranking in The Baltimore Sun and the Maryland state media poll.
Lee, an Under Armour All-American headed to Alabama, is rated the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country by 247 Sports and is the No. 1 overall player in the Maryland Class of 2019. A student of the game, he led a Panthers defense that did not yield a point during the regular season, a key to their No. 4 ranking in USA Today's Top 25.
“He played at a different level this year,” Panthers co-coach Henry Russell said. “I think Shane took a big leap forward between last year and this year, which says a lot. He was playing at a high level last year and was one of the best players in the state and this year, he really just expanded on that. He played faster and more physical and was much more assertive in leading our defense. I think he just was much more comfortable and that allowed him to really dominate.”
Nicknamed “The Hulk” by his teammates at Gilman his freshman season, Lee is a solid 6-feet-2 and 245 pounds. He is a repeat All-Metro first-team selection and finished his senior year with 61 tackles, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 4½ sacks and three pass deflections.
“He is very athletic for his size. He runs really well for how big he is,” Russell said. “He covers a lot of ground and when he gets there, he delivers an impactful blow. He’s big enough that he can match up against big offensive linemen … and yet he’s fast enough to be able to cover guys in space and make tackles in the open field. He’s a rare combination of size and speed.”
Lee will play in the Under Armour All-America Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 3. He plans to enroll at Alabama in January.