5. Shane Lee, LB
Alabama’s defense can be recognized by their disciplined, physical approach and a versatility that’s almost required in today’s game. And while underclassmen sometimes struggle to adapt to the college game, linebacker Shane Lee stepped in as a freshman and hit the ground running.
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After replacing Dylan Moses at middle linebacker following a season-ending injury, Lee racked up 86 total tackles (second on the team), 6.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception. That’s a lot of numbers for a true freshman. His sacks are the most for a returning Crimson Tide defender, and as he continues to develop he’ll likely produce at an even higher clip across the board.
Lee was named a freshman All-American by ESPN.com and the Football Writers Association of America for his production, while also being named by the SEC coaches to the freshman all-SEC team. What’s next for the 6-foot Maryland native?
Plenty of great linebackers have patrolled the second level of an Alabama defense – Donta Hightower, C.J. Mosley, Rolando McClain to name a few. And although he’s just a sophomore, could Lee join the likes of those players with a storied 2020 campaign?