Buchholz's Lee says he will attend Miami

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun

When it came to Quan Lee’s commitment, the decision ultimately wasn’t difficult to make despite nearly 30 scholarship offers to date. 

Once he knew where he planned to spend his future, Lee went quiet as anticipation grew, opting to keep his future plans to himself prior to Wednesday’s reveal. 

Lee, the standout wide receiver from Buchholz High School, announced his verbal commitment to the University of Miami in a ceremony held at Bud Seymour Gymnasium, giving the Hurricanes both their second commitment and a pledge from the area’s top prospect in the 2022 class. 

Buchholz High receiver Quan Lee hugs his mother at the school's gym Wednesday after deciding to attend Miami on a scholarship. Lee's brother, former Vanderbilt star Ralph Webb, looks on.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder hauled in 43 passes last season for 1,003 yards while also contributing in the backfield and secondary for the Bobcats, earning him first-team All-Area honors from the Gainesville Sun — though the COVID-19 pandemic certainly hindered his opportunities of gaining attention from collegiate programs and recruiting services. 

The program right down the road, the University of Florida, never offered — but Lee couldn’t do anything about it except continue to work. 

“I know every Friday night I got to go out and dominate,” he said. “When I do my thing, I help my team, help myself, and, at the end of the day, I come out on top.”

Now, it’s all paying off. 

“This is a big-time moment for me. Just me, being me, who I am, I just think it fits me,” Lee said of his commitment. “Miami, they have a rich history with a lot of NFL greats. I just feel like Coach (Rob) Likens and Coach (Manny) Diaz, they’re for me and I feel like they’ve got my best interest, so I feel like that’s the school for me.”

Lee said Miami was forthcoming throughout the process, which impressed him from the jump. Having seen the recruiting process from up close once before — Lee’s brother, Ralph Webb, starred at Gainesville High School before becoming Vanderbilt University’s all-time leading rusher — he understood the politics involved in recruiting and how much it could fluctuate from day to day. 

Still, the ‘Canes impressed Lee by keeping him in the loop early and often.

“From Day 1, they kept it real with me. It’s honesty, they were very truthful,” he said. “From Day 1 they let me know that I’m their guy, so that just stood out to me, that’s big to me. I was their guy, so it’s all good.”

On his Twitter account, Lee has frequently voiced his desire to attend a program where he feels wanted, regardless of its stature, but he realized his heart was set on competing at the Division I level, specifically at a Power Five school.

“Well, me being me, I want to play big-time ball, so being in the ACC, it’s kinda big,” Lee said. “You’ve got Clemson, you’ve got the University of Miami, you’ve got Georgia Tech, you’ve got all the big schools, so I just want to play big-time ball so that’s what fits me.”

And he has a lofty personal goal, too: making DeVonta Smith’s accomplishment a more frequent occurrence when it comes to year-end awards. 

“As a person, I want to accomplish — me personally I want to win the Heisman,” Lee said. “I feel like with the recruits that we have and the way Miami’s going, I feel like when I get in I can potentially win the Heisman.”

Lee is confident — deservedly so. But take it from those who Lee’s been under the tutelage of: don’t mistake his confidence for arrogance, because he’s put in countless hours of work behind the scenes to reach this point. 

“Click on HUDL and watch his tape, you see a kid who consistently and aggressively makes his presence known. Every single game he played in, he contributed either on offense, defense or the special teams aspect of the game in huge ways,” said Buchholz coach Mark Whittemore. “And that’s what guys who play at that level do in high school.”

Whittemore has coached Lee for just over a year now, since he arrived at Buchholz by way of Eastside High just prior to his junior season, and he has no problem with being forthcoming and admitting he wasn’t immediately sold on Lee’s potential. 

That quickly changed when Whittemore saw how Lee prepared. 

“I wasn’t too sure, honestly, but immediately he displayed his work ethic, his team-focus, and his what I call bring-your-lunch pail type of work ethic,” Whittemore said. “Just unbelievable, unbelievable on the practice field.”

Before he departs for Coral Gables, however, Whittemore is relishing one final season with Lee, beginning with the spring game Thursday at Booster Stadium against Vanguard High. 

“Well, obviously he’s going to be a big part of what we do,” Whittemore said. “If he replicates what he did last year and improves on that, he’ll be one of the best to ever play here.”

Not to continue the comparisons between siblings, but it — becoming a legend at a program — is something Webb’s experienced as well, though Lee has yet to really pick his brain about the college level; remember, he was keeping his cards close to the chest, not wanting to tip his hand. 

Though Webb, who will join the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in July, certainly has plenty of advice to give for a prospect heading to college in the age of the transfer portal. 

“Just go in there and soak in new information. Just making sure you’re learning the playbook, adapting to your school and academic schedule, because it’s going to be a lot different from high school to college,” Webb said. “Just know what you’re looking for and ultimately make a decision for you. I know a lot of outside factors influence you, such as your family, friends and coaches, but no one has to be there but you for those four years, so make sure it’s a place that ultimately fits you, ultimately fits your capabilities and what you bring to the game of football, and make sure you fit within that system.”

That’s what comes next — confirming his decision. With prospects set to resume official visits June 1, the time is nigh for Lee to take his five official visits prior to signing in December. Miami is on the list, but Lee said he’s yet to make formal plans regarding where he’ll visit. 

“As of now it’s all Miami,” he said. 

Webb has imparted one piece of advice on him, however, that Lee will continue to remember as he heads into his senior season and prepares for the next level of a career full of promise. 

“Just follow my heart,” Lee said. “Just follow my heart again.”