GAINESVILLE, Fla. - There was no question which player that Gainesville wanted to slow down during last night’s action. That would be UCF wide receiver Quan Lee. Wherever he went, two or three Gainesville players attempted to be in his way. For the most part, the strategy worked. Exceptions did take place, costly exceptions for Gainesville.
Here’s an overview of Lee’s night, with a few surprises and one incredible all-around play between Lee and his quarterback Creed Whittemore, a class of 2023 wide receiver recruit that’s been offered by UCF, but plays quarterback in high school.
Vitals: 5’11”, 175
High School: Gainesville (Fla.) Buchholz
Position: Wide Reciver/Kick Returner
Recruitment: Committed to UCF
Perhaps the most obvious element of Lee’s game would just be sheer speed. He often lulls an opponent into believing he’s not going full-tilt, then just like that he would accelerate past a defensive back or linebacker.
This skill really took place during the aforementioned bomb from Whittemore. Great pass, great adjustment to the football, phenomenal catch. To place it all together, Whittemore led Lee with a high-arching downfield pass. From the naked eye, it would appear to be way too far out in front of Lee.
That would be incorrect.
Lee broke off his route and ran to the open area where Whittemore threw the football. He laid out and caught the pass in the endzone for a touchdown. Here’s the play:
The ability to really change his speed stood out about Lee. That’s going to help him with running routes, as well as opposing defenses respecting his ability to go deep. Many college secondaries will likely be careful about playing tight coverage because of the chance to be burned.
Change of Direction
This would be the category that Lee does the best. From the first time seeing him play seven-on-seven through last night’s game, Lee proved that he’s capable of making multiple defenders miss with sharp cuts, as well as changing speeds throughout a play. There’s a good example from his punt return for a score.
Lee had a clear path developing towards his left, he did not just run that direction, however, he patiently waited until the last moment and then took off towards the left corner of the endzone. The result, touchdown!
That’s a savvy punt returner, and a player that knows how to make plays with more than just sheer athleticism.
Especially during the early portion of the game when Buchholz attempted to hand the football off to Lee, Gainesville’s defense did an excellent job of rallying to the football and gang tackling Lee. Hats off to them for their effort, and hats off to Lee for sticking with it.
Lee had mentioned that he knew what Gainesville would do and that there would be second half plays that countered Gainesville’s plan. He was correct. The punt return and deep pass both took place after intermission. That’s not all.
Lee saw double and triple coverage and did not allow it to change how hard he played. He’s a player that just continued to run his routes.
Lee could make an impact for UCF with special teams play first and foremost. Just cannot teach Lee’s athleticism, nor his penchant for reading blocks and when to make cuts. Long-term projection will place Lee at the slot wide receiver position, and he could play outside as well. He’s a really good football player that can change games at the college level.
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