Parkland star linebacker signs letter of intent

Last week Parkland stud linebacker Lee Kpogba signed with Syracuse.

Parkland star linebacker signs letter of intent
December 27
10:25 2018

For the second year in a row, an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) team has signed a stud defender from a Forsyth County school. Last year West Forsyth defensive end K.J Henry signed to Clemson and last week Parkland stud linebacker Lee Kpogba signed with Syracuse.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound outside linebacker will head to Syracuse this January as an early enrollee. The four-star recruit had originally committed to West Virginia late in 2017, but decided to decommit and reopen his recruitment in October of 2018.

He received heavy interest from blue-blood programs such as Florida State, but decided to go with the Orangemen in the end. Surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches, Kpogba signed his letter of intent in the Parkland auditorium Nov. 19.

“It feels good to finally get to this point,” said Kpogba. “When I went up there to Syracuse, I just felt like I was at home and they showed me a lot of love. I got a good vibe from the coaches, I like the community and I just felt like that would be the best place for me.”

There were high praises for Kpogba by all of the coaching staff in attendance. Former head coach Martin Samek said Lee was one of the best players he ever coached and probably the best outside linebacker he has seen in his coaching career.

“I am proud of what he has done here, I am proud that he has put himself in this position, and I am looking forward to watching him play football at Syracuse,” Samek said. “It was a process, but he is smart enough and worked hard enough to get himself in this position. He listened to his coaches and you could see every year he was becoming more mature, making better decisions until he got to the place where he is now.”

When Kpogba stepped on campus, Samek says he did not believe he was a freshman. “I thought he transferred from a high school somewhere, but he showed up and made an impact, day one.  I had to check his birth certificate,” Samek said jokingly.

Kpogba has a chance to start as a freshman for the Orangemen. Samek thinks Kpogba will not only succeed on the field, but in the classroom as well.  “I am looking forward to watching him play and I am looking forward to watching him graduate,” Samek said confidently.

Lee not only has impressed on the football field, he made a long-lasting impression with teachers and counselors at Parkland as well. Karrie Lambeth Tuttle, a guidance counselor at Parkland, said she has never been so proud of a student as she was for Lee.

“I have been a counselor for 13 years and I have never had a kid that I have felt this way about,” said Tuttle. “A lot of people talk about his football talent, but that has never been the thing for me, it has always been his character.”

“He amazes me as a teammate and I think that he hasn’t gotten all of the full recognition he deserves, because people think he is just a really good football player, but he is a whole lot more than just a good football player.”

Kpogba credited his coaches and Tuttle for their constant support throughout his time at Parkland. He said they “played a big part in my success.”

“Coming in here my freshman year, I already had the mindset that I was going DI, I just had to work for it,” Kpogba continued. “I knew nothing was going to be given to me, especially here at Parkland, because not too many people get big time Division I offers from here. I just wanted to show everybody that it’s not where you are at, it’s what you do.”

Kpogba says he is enrolling in January because he wants to get a jump on competing for a starting position next season. He says he will miss the community, school and family when he leaves.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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