Gators Film Room: 2020 Commit DT Jalen Lee Scouting Report

Donavon Keiser

The Gators added their 21st commit to the list on Thursday night, as four-star defensive tackle Jalen Lee went public to the Gators just two days after David Turner visited him in his Louisiana home. 

Lee is the Gators’ fifth commitment on the defensive line, joining Johnnie Brown, Gervon Dexter, Antwaun Powell, and Lamar Goods.

The 6-3, 294 lb. lineman cited how welcome he felt in Gainesville back in the summer, but ultimately decided to commit to his home-state team, the LSU Tigers. The four-star from Live Oak (LA) plays in the largest classification (5A) of high school football in the state, so competition is far from awful.

Florida’s defensive line coach, David Turner, stayed in consistent contact and mutual interest was high once Lee decommitted from LSU. Just two weeks later, Lee has saved himself a spot in the Gators’ fast-growing 2020 class, just a mere thirteen days away from signing day. Florida was Lee’s first SEC offer, which was given to him back in January prior to the David Turner hire. Lee always felt the love from the Gators, and it will be a great fit moving forward, especially with the lack of bodies at interior defensive line.

It’s crystal clear why the commitment of Lee was so sought after, as he is a warrior in the trenches, especially in the run game. Lee is a certified run-stopper and is athletic enough to get after the quarterback as well. He can play nose tackle and 3-technique and will find no problem finding a spot to play at the next level. For his size, Lee has considerable speed and is very alert.

Lee 1

A common trend you will see throughout Lee’s film is his outstanding first step quickness. Lee gets off the ball quickly and blows up many plays before they start due to the fact he is so quick off the ball. Remember Taven Bryan's get-off? It's similar to that. 

Lee doesn’t even need to use his hands, and he squeezes through the line before the center and the guard can pinch to attempt to keep him out of the backfield. It doesn’t work, and Lee finishes the play with a sack.

Lee 2 sack

This clip shows Lee’s pure strength, as he completely throws the tackle out of his way before going on to spin away from the guard and end the play with a TFL. 

As the pocket collapses and the QB tries to escape, Lee spins away from the guard to wrap him up in the backfield. It’s no question that opposing coaches try to double Lee, but the fact that he can play nose and 3 tech makes it very difficult for that to happen. Even when they do plan to double him, Lee disrupts the play with his power and speed.

Lee 3 Run Stop

It’s clear Lee has a quick first step, which will be vital to his success in the SEC. Here Lee quickly gets off the ball and blows the whole play up in the backfield.

Lee 4 QB Sack

Lee again is in the backfield as if he was shot out of a cannon, and this time ends up recovering a fumble. Lee blows by the center and found himself one on one with the quarterback, and he stopped him dead in his tracks. Lee doesn’t make the tackle, but directly contributes and his teammates cause the fumble. 

The ball ends up 14 yards from the line of scrimmage, and Lee recovers despite being out of the play for a short time. The hustle Lee displays is something you can’t teach, and he just wanted it more than the others and made a play because of his effort.

Lee 5

Lee doesn’t get a chance to show off his use of his hands often, but in this clip, he shakes off the center and disrupts the screen play before it got a chance to develop.

Lee 6 Hold Sack

Another clip, another sack. This time Lee lines up as a 3T and overcomes the guard despite being tangled up with him, and chases down the quarterback for a sack. Lee utilizes a clean dip-and-rip move to get underneath the guard's hands, bending through contact to cripple to pocket and make a play. 

The fact that Lee has bend and a polished rip move in his already explosive play style gives him the floor of an explosive interior lineman at the next level. And given these traits, plus his length, there's room for so much more polish in his game.

Lee 7 Screen Shutdown

Lee’s athletism is on full display here, as he keeps contain and shuts down a screen play. Lee does an excellent job of reading the quarterback and doesn’t overpursue, which is impressive for being at the high school level. Some current college players still have issues with overpursuing, so this is great to see from Lee so early on. He reads the play and makes the tackle before the wide receiver could make a play.

Lee 8 Run Stop

As mentioned earlier, Lee is a remarkable run stopper and he shows it time and time again. This time he stands up the center while keeping his eyes fixated on the backfield to read the direction of the run, and gets in there for another TFL.

Lee 9

Going Back to his junior year, Lee was still making plays and forcing fumbles. He didn’t recover this one, but he blows past the offensive line yet again and causes the running back to fumble.

He flies like a bullet into the backfield on almost every play. It's crazy to watch.

Lee 10 Setting Edge

Lee already understands how to set an edge, which is great news as he can contain and push the ball carrier to his teammates. This is vital in avoiding big plays to the outside and is something you just love to see before he steps on campus. Perhaps it could even translate to Lee playing strong-side defensive end in college.

Lee 11 Hands

Lee again shows off his strength, as he just moves the center where he wants him and gets to the running back. He'll have to continue developing his hand usage at Florida in order to become consistently disruptive and not have to depend on just his raw strength and power.

Takeaways

Jalen Lee has an amazing get off, is agile, is quick enough to play in the SEC, and is a hard worker who plays to his potential every snap. He is nimble and moves around well for being 6’3’ and weighing 294 pounds. 

Lee is versatile and can play multiple positions on the defensive line, both at nose and as a 3 technique. The four-star from Watson, Louisiana dabbled in playing a bit on the edge (5 technique) in his junior year, but I believe his future is going to be on the interior. 

Once he gets on campus, he’ll be able to build more muscle with strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage, who benefits every player that comes through Florida. I could see him adding a few more pounds and playing nose early on, depending on where they move Dexter and if Tedarrell Slayton and Kyree Campbell decide to return. Lee also has a high football IQ and adjusts quickly to make plays.

Florida continues to reload on the edge with pass rushers, but Florida has lacked a punishing rotation of interior defensive linemen since the distant days of when Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd were in the orange and blue. 

David Turner has done a phenomenal job getting this defensive line class together, and Florida still has a few juniors snaps in Campbell and Slaton that could come back and play significant snaps. 

Overall, the Gators are in a great spot to finish with a great 2020 class on the defensive side of the ball, with a major focus on the interior defensive line. 

Jalen Lee is a well rounded defensive lineman and will fight for reps early and often for the Gators. Florida fans should be ecstatic about this pickup, and I know Coach Turner is licking his chops with all the options he has for next season. 

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