Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers up the first real good read on 2023 in-state CB prospect Kayin Lee from a stout Cedar Grove High School program in Metro Atlanta.
The operative word for Cedar Grove cornerback Kayin (Kay-In) Lee is smooth. He is already very polished to still just be a 2023 prospect in the state of Georgia.
He is a press corner. Lee loves to play man-to-man and yet he still makes everything look smooth. It never looks like he’s exerting himself even on a big play. He glides and always seems in control even while flying in off the edge to block field goals.
Lee is now in his second season with the Hustle, Inc. program. There are many bonafide ballplayers in that family of competitors. It is easy for an up-and-coming recruit to get eclipsed by the many All-American level talents on that squad.
He is not getting eclipsed. He’s getting noticed. Be it on the 7-on-7 circuit or on Friday nights. Lee plays for a powerhouse Cedar Grove program that has no less than nine returnees that will all play major college football one day.
There is an All-American across the defensive front in the 2022 class at that program. That’s 4-star DT Christen Miller. Miller is an exceptional player and person both on and off the field. He has Georgia among his very top schools.
Joshua White, another talented 2022 DE prospect, also has an offer from UGA. So does 2023 ILB prospect Raul Aguirre. He’s a top 50 prospect in the 2023 cycle for 247 Sports.
That’s a lot of players. It made sense to see a Cedar Grove athlete earn the Region Defensive Player of the Year honors for 2020.
That player was Lee. He received that honor from the peer coaches in his region after the 2020 season.
The 6-foot, 175-pound rising junior has no stars by his name. No rankings. No problem. He gets noticed on tape. Count him among the big-timers these days who land their first real big-time offers before their rankings.
It is a hard thing to do these days. Especially prior to the pandemic.
ATGTG.. I’m truly BLESSED to say that The University Of Georgia just offered ✞.🐶🔴⚫️ pic.twitter.com/etRfbuXtXP
— Kayin Lee (@iamkayin1) December 16, 2020
Georgia has also offered Lee. That’s among several other big-name offers from schools like Auburn, Arkansas, FSU, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Maryland and Notre Dame.
Lee said that Georgia was one of the two schools he’d always wanted to earn an offer from.
“That was one of the offers that I have been wanting a lot,” he said. “That was like my dream school. I was anticipating that offer coming at the end of the [sophomore] season. But now that I’ve got it I can do more things and it gave me a lot of confidence moving forward from it.”
Lee likes the size of athletes that Georgia has on defense. He also values the location of being close to home, too.
“From the people I have talked to about Georgia it is like a family down there,” he said.
He has been talking to Arkansas, FSU, Georgia and Georgia Tech the most over the last two months. The Bulldogs, Razorbacks and Seminoles all seem to be prioritizing him so far.
What has been the message from UGA?
“It is that I really fit the program,” Lee said. “That I am the next guy that can be that next big guy who can do great things at Georgia.”
His coaches at Cedar Grove call him “Big Play K” and it is easy to see why below.
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The thing to know that drives Kayin Lee
Lee is driven by his Christian faith. That is evident from a small sample size of four conversations with him. He knows where it all comes from.
The drive here is to one day be able to provide for his family. He mentions his grandparents, his great grandparents and his mother and father.
“They made sure I have had everything I need so I can be successful,” he said. “They go hard for me so I really go hard for all of them.”
It is impactful to notice several tributes to his great grandfather on his Twitter timeline. Deacon Johnie E. Williams Sr. passed away this past January. He was 80 years old.
His obituary notes that he was 80 years old and that Williams never met a stranger. He retired after 27 years of service in the public school system and loved to talk about bowling, his family and the Dallas Cowboys.
I know this mom.. but I know that my Great grandfather looking down on us from heaven and is smiling. pic.twitter.com/C8ki0E0qyT
— Kayin Lee (@iamkayin1) March 3, 2021
Love you! pic.twitter.com/Haoo0kVYAz
— Kayin Lee (@iamkayin1) February 17, 2021
When a blessing now comes his way, he thinks of his great-grandfather. He hopes he is making “Pop” proud.
“Every time,” Lee said.
.. You in a better place pop.. love you.😔 pic.twitter.com/TYuIbTytR0
— Kayin Lee (@iamkayin1) January 8, 2021
Williams was still able to make quite an impact on Lee’s life during those 16 years they had together.
“He meant a lot to me,” Lee said. “He was the first great-grandparent that I can remember meeting. We didn’t say too much to each other then. It wasn’t until I got much older that I could understand him. It was something to see what my family was going through when we lost him. It just shows how much he meant to all of us. It meant a lot to me. I just put him up there as one of those guys in my life who meant a great deal to me.”
Kayin Lee: What else will be key in his recruitment?
He has seen what fellow Cedar Grove alums Netori Johnson and Justin Shaffer have experienced during their times at UGA. It is a comfort for him.
“Just seeing that they committed there and they trusted what they had in their hearts and minds at the time and it shows me to never give up and keep pushing,” Lee said. “Just trust the Lord and everything will be alright.”
What is he looking for in the ideal school?
“It would have to be number one I need to be able to feel at home,” he said. “That it feels like family. I need to be able to improve myself as another great young man to come out of the program.”
The earliest he could make a decision would likely be sometime in his junior season. It could be during or after the 2021 campaign.
He wears the No. 24 jersey number because of Kobe Bryant.
“That was my Dad’s favorite player,” he said. “He was like looking up to him. He did great things with his life and I want to do great things in life. I look up to Kobe still. It just puts some influence on me to do the same.”
Kayin Lee: A few very telling scouting reports to file
Former Cedar Grove coach Miquel Patrick is now at Crisp County in Cordele. He will miss a great many things about his former job. The path that Lee takes over his junior and senior seasons will certainly be one of them.
There are a lot of things he has to share with the world about Lee.
“They need to know how intelligent and hard-working he is,” Patrick said. “He has a 3.5 grade-point average and is just an awesome kid off the field.”
The Patrick scouting report has a lot of things to note, too.
“He has great speed,” Patrick said. “Probably a 4.4 guy. His ball skills are excellent. He’s very explosive vertically and is a physical tackler. He’s also is very patient and has great eyes.”
All-American DT Christen Miller is right on that Lee hype train, too. He might be playing the part of the conductor.
“I’m probably like one of the biggest to come out of Cedar Grove defensive-wise, but he’s going to be the best,” Miller said of Lee. “He’s going to be the best to ever come out of Cedar Grove.”
Miller is saying a lot there, but Lee has that type of potential.
It is still quite a statement given that All-American Antwaun Jackson counts among the all-timers for the Cedar Grove defense.
There is also a host of All-Americans like Rashod Dubinion, Jadon Haselwood and Netori Johnson to think of. Those guys were primarily offensive players to consider here, too.
“First of all, he works so hard for everything he wants,” Miller said. “He’s so humble. I’m always playing with him. I’m always bullying [with] him. Always talking to him. We call each other almost all the time. But he loves God. That kid, he loves God. We will call each other and read scriptures together. Pray together. Stuff like that. He loves God. I love his faith. I love the way he walks with God. I love the way he carries himself on and off the field.”
“I tell you that kid is probably one of the best corners in the class. Because his class has got some good corners. They’ve got some great corners. I give my hats off to all of them guys, but he is going to finish. He’s going to finish. He is going to be a 5-star. That’s how I think about it. Kayin is just, he is just that nice.”
Miller calls him a “quiet beast.”
“Kayin will do you bad with an interception and won’t say a word. He will get hype, but won’t say a word. He’s a quiet beast. But what makes him is he’s a better person off the field. He’s a great kid. I love that kid. I love the way he carries himself.”
He even said he was more excited to see where Lee’s career takes off and goes than even for what his own path has for him.
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