football Edit

COMMIT: JUCO DB William Lee commits to K-State

As the early signing period draws closer, and the transfer portal window gets ready to open, the Wildcats have added to their 2023 recruiting class with Iowa Western defensive back, William Lee.

"When I took that visit in the summer," Lee said, "That long months build-up and building relationships with Coach [Van] Malone, Coach [Chris] Klieman and Coach [Joe] Klanderman it just really grew on me.

"Coach Klanderman came up to Iowa Western and we sat down in a meeting room where we really talked about personal stuff like getting to know me and my football and just having that little conversation before the offer really kind of set me in with him because I knew he was a such good person and just wanted the best for me in any situation."

Lee, or "The Blanket," piled up 24 tackles in ten games this past season for the Reiver defense. He also had 7 pass breakups, while his team allowed under 180 yards of offense to opponents this season.

Iowa Western is currently ranked third in the country and will be playing in the NJCAA Playoffs Semifinal against Northwest Mississippi on Sunday. The Reivers' only losses this season are to No. 1 Hutchinson and No.4 Coffeyville, who will also be facing off this weekend in the semifinals.

Lee had 11 total offers and had previously been committed to Oregon State from July to October. Among the offers that Lee had, Florida State and Iowa were the other major offers that were to be considered.

Originally from St. Louis, Lee played at Kirkwood High School and was recruited at a high level out of high school in the 2020 class.

"When I was coming out of high school with all the COVID stuff going on, there was a lot of players that the schools I was looking at offers ended up getting pulled because players came back," Lee said. "Iowa Western is a top JUCO every year, so I ended up going here and we have the best DB JUCO coach.

"I really grew, it's a humbling experience for sure. You see so many guys that just want to get out and so many guys want to be in the position that I'm in right now, but not everybody can be in it. SO just being here and seeing what a lot of people go through, that's just a humbling experience and I'm just glad to be in the position I'm in."

This past year was the redshirt-freshman season for Lee, who will have three seasons of eligibility at K-State and will look to make a quick impact for a K-State defense that will be losing numerous defensive backs after this season.

With the commitment from Lee, the Wildcats now sit at No. 28 in the Rivals Team Rankings. This certainly seems like a result of the Wildcats' stellar 2022 season in landing Lee, who had some indications that Florida State might win out for his services.

This story was updated at 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with quotes from William Lee.

EMAW Online's Alec Busse contributed to this report.