MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg senior defensive lineman Tavis Lee became the second in-state pledge to WVU’s 2018 football recruiting class on Wednesday, joining Fairmont Senior’s Dante Stills.
“I’ve always wanted to play for my home state and that was the offer that I had been waiting on,” Lee said. “I’ve been there numerous times, I love the staff and I love the game day atmosphere.”
And while he may not have received the national recruiting attention afforded Stills, it was Lee who won the state’s Huff Award a year ago, honoring top defensive player in West Virginia. He was also named a second-team All-American by USA Today.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pounder finished his junior campaign with 114 tackles, 37 more than anyone else on the state-champion Bulldogs’ defense.
Lee received an offer for WVU while visiting Morgantown for the game against Iowa State.
“I’ve been patient and I always felt like the offer was going to come, I just didn’t know when,” Lee said. “It removed some weight off of my shoulders. If I didn’t get offered by WVU, I probably was going to go to Marshall — but I really wanted to go to West Virginia.”
Lee has recorded 43.5 tackles, 11 TFLs and 5.5 sacks during his senior campaign, part of a stifling Martinsburg defense that didn’t surrender a first down in its opening-round playoff win over Morgantown.
“(The WVU coaches) want me to redshirt my first year, gain weight and get up to 260 so that I look like a (college) defensive end,” he said. “I play like them, I just don’t look like them yet.”
Lee’s teammate, junior running back/linebacker Dewayne Grantham, also holds an offer from West Virginia for 2019.
The complete MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” interview with Lee is posted above.