PROVO — Sam Lee committed to BYU coaches early Friday morning following an official visit to the school. Lee is a 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from the College of the Canyons who had interest from Maryland, New Mexico and Texas State.
Lee is originally from Maryland and determined to pursue playing college football while serving an LDS mission in Atlanta.
"One of my companions was Nathanial Lealao, and we would always play football on P-days (missionary off-days) and we started talking about how we'd look into playing college football when we were done with our missions," Lee said. "We both love the sport and fortunately it worked out for us."
Both players did their research when returning home and found College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., as a place for them to pursue their dreams. Both of them joined the team and saw success.
Lee missed most of his freshman year due to injury, but did enough his sophomore year to convince BYU coaches that he was worthy of an offer. Cougar coaches first contacted Lee this past spring and have followed his progress since.
"It was great getting to know BYU coaches and it was such an honor for me that they were interested," Lee said. "I didn't know much about BYU, but I was obviously very interested knowing they were my church's school."
BYU invited Lee out to an official visit this week and made an offer to him after its conclusion. During the visit, Lee was able to see the campus up close and meet a lot of the current players and coaches.
"Preston Hadley was my official host and he was great," Lee said. "I was able to see all the facilities and just feel the spiritual nature the school and the football program has. That was probably the best thing about the trip and the reason I committed — BYU just fits me so well as an LDS student and football player."
After receiving his offer, Lee slept on it and woke up without any doubt that he needed to commit. "I called coaches to let them know right after I woke up. There is no doubt that BYU is the place for me."
Lee will arrive at BYU just prior to the 2013 season and immediately compete for the open starting boundary corner position.
"The position suits me and how I play. I cover well and I'm a physical player, so I think I can compete well at the spot," Lee said. "I can't wait to get to BYU, and it's really a great opportunity for me to play on a great team and attend a great school that holds the same beliefs that I do."