St. Frances's Shane Lee, one of the top inside linebackers in the country, committed Tuesday to play for defending national champion Alabama.
Lee, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound All-Metro selection last fall for the No. 1 Panthers, announced his commitment on Twitter on Tuesday night after visiting the Tuscaloosa campus for the first time over the weekend.
"To be honest, I didn't know where I wanted to go before the visit, but after the visit, everything kind of just worked its way into place," Lee said.
"What coach [Nick] Saban has for his players, I think, is really something special. The lessons he tries to teach and show his players and the opportunity he gives his players is something that I wanted to take part in. The program is something I think I can contribute to and I think it can give me a lot as well."
247Sports.com rates Lee, a four-star prospect, as the No. 3 inside linebacker in the nation in the Class of 2019 and the No. 1 overall player in Maryland.
Last fall, the quarterback of the Panthers defense had 78 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries for one of the top high school defenses in the country. St. Frances finished 13-0, won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship and finished No. 4 in USA Today's Super 25.
"I think Alabama is a tremendous fit for an inside linebacker who is a student of the game, who likes to learn as much as he can about the game — along with Shane's incredible physical gifts," said Henry Russell, co-coach at St. Frances with Biff Poggi.
"No matter who the coordinator is down there, it's Nick Saban's defense. He runs a 3-4 defense and Shane will fit great in one of those inside linebacker positions. They've had tremendous success of great inside linebackers. One of them plays right here for the Ravens, C.J. Mosley, so I think Shane just saw that lineage of linebackers over the Saban era and wants to have a shot at being the next one."
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"I think something that will help me when I get there is just that I'm kind of a downhill player. I think that's my biggest attribute right now, but just as I grow as a student of the game, I'll acquire different things that will help me be the best linebacker I can be. I think Alabama can help me reach my potential and maybe go even further than that."
In his Twitter announcement, Lee thanked his family, his high school coaches and trainers as well as Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, a former interim coach at Maryland and the Crimson Tide's recruiter for this area, whom he said his parents have known since before he was born.