Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 43, the number once worn by WVU linebacker, Kevin McLee.
Originally from nearby Uniontown, PA, McLee spent five seasons as a member of the WVU football program, from 2002 to 2006. McLee is the son of University of Georgia standout, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tailback, Kevin McLee Sr.
After redshirting in 2002, McLee played in every game for the Mountaineer football team, from 2003 to 2006. In 52 career appearances, “Boo” McLee recorded 247 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He helped the team earn a share of the Big East conference championship three of his four seasons in the program, and was a first team, all-Big East selection in 2005.
In his first full season on the team, McLee appeared in all 13 of the Mountaineers’ games, recording 46 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. His efforts helped the squad earn a share of the Big East title with a 6-1 conference record, the first for the school in ten seasons. The Gold and Blue finished 2003 with a record of 8-5 after losing in the 2004 Gator Bowl to Maryland 41-7.
McLee’s sophomore season saw the team earn yet another bid to the Gator Bowl after finishing the regular season with back to back losses to Pitt and Boston College. The team managed to finish in a four way tie with the Eagles, Panthers, and the Syracuse Orange to earn a share of the conference title for a second straight year. However, the team was beaten in the New Year’s day bowl game, this time by Florida State, to finish the campaign 8-4 overall. McLee recorded 44 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery, while making his first career collegiate start in the 2004 season opener against East Carolina.
In 2005, the 6’1”, 255 pound middle linebacker helped the Mountaineer football team have their best season to date, as they went 11-1 overall, and beat #8 Georgia in the 2006 Nokia Sugar Bowl to finish with a top five national ranking for the first time since 1988. The team also won their first outright conference championship since the 1993 campaign with a perfect 7-0 record in conference play. Along the way, McLee recorded 78 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. For his efforts, McLee was named to the Big East all-conference team, earning first team distinction. He also earned all-ECAC honors for the 2005 season.
McLee finished his collegiate career in 2006 with a career-high 79 tackles, along with 2.5 sacks, and an interception. While the team lost out on a fourth straight conference championship, they were again able t0 earn a New Year’s day bowl bid, being invited to play in 2007 Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech after another ten win regular season. The team beat the Yellow Jackets 38-35 in the bowl game to finish the year with 11 wins, helping cap one of the most successful eras in program history.
Kevin McLee graduated from West Virginia University in 2006 with a degree in athletic coaching education. Following his graduation, McLee would go on to pursue a career in professional football, signing with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2007.
McLee would spend the 2007 NFL season as a member of the Rams’ practice roster before being cut by the organization the following spring. Most recently, McLee spent time on the practice roster of the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL before being released later in the 2008 season.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-44 are still available here at WVUPros.com.