Senior linebacker Shane Lee transferred to USC with the hope to help change the culture of their football team and bring them back into the national spotlight. Now, the Trojans are ranked seventh in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll with a 3-0 overall record.
Since Lee arrived in the spring, he has been a positive influence on the Trojan defense.
“You talk about discipline over default or you talk about culture, it starts out as just words,” Lee said. “Then you got guys that actually act upon it and so practicing what those actually mean and now you got guys believing in it.”
Lee is currently second on the team in solo tackles with 15 and total tackles with 16.0. He completed his first sack as a Trojan during USC’s 41-28 victory over Stanford.
“I think it’s been an okay start, I still got things to improve on, like everybody else,” he said. “Trying to get comfortable, trying to continue to establish myself in this defense and on this team.”
During their season opener against Rice, Lee made a season high of eight solo tackles along with a pick-six on a 40-yard interception return and one pass breakup. Lee helped the Trojans hold Rice to 280 yards on offense and secure a 66-14 victory.
“I think that’s what we set out to do as a defense is to play together, play hard, just run to the ball and be physical,” he said during the postgame press conference of the Rice game. “I think we did.”
As USC has several transfers this season, the team builds chemistry through going on outings.
“We do everything together,” Lee said. “Guys who be golfing that never have been golfing before, go to the beach, go on hikes.”
USC sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams described Lee as a quiet person that is not afraid to critique his teammates.
“When it’s go-time, [Lee] is there, [Lee] always is gonna show up,” Williams said. “If I’m messing up, if anyone’s messing up, if I’m not holding my side of the ball accountable, [Lee] will speak up.”
Lee is currently working on his master’s in gerontology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and environmental psychology when he was a stand-out at Alabama. Lee noted that he enjoys learning.
“I had some pretty good business professors,” Lee said. “I think education is important, I believe in bettering yourself. I think you’re always students of life always learning if you allow yourself to.”
In 2021, Lee won Alabama’s Commitment to Academic Excellence Award. He was also on the 2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Lee played 29 games for Alabama, scoring 50 solo hits, 95 total tackles and six sacks for 36 yards.