After All-American freshman season, Mike Lee excited to tackle prom
After passing summer classes last year, Kansas safety Mike Lee finalized his decision to enroll early at KU.
Lee, reclassifying from the 2017 class, graduated early and opted to skip his senior year of high school.
That meant he had an earlier start to his collegiate career, and he proved himself as one of the top up-and-coming defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference. Athlon Sports named Lee on their college football all-freshman team.
An earlier start to college football meant missing out on some of the perks of his final year at Landry Walker in New Orleans. His high school won its first state football title in December.
But Lee won’t miss out on everything. Earlier this month, Lee said he had plans to attend his senior prom this weekend.
“I don’t have a date, but I have a tux,” Lee said. “I’ll wear all white with a pink polo and some sparkling pink, white shoes.”
Living 13 hours away from his hometown New Orleans, Lee said it would be a fun opportunity to spend time with his friends and family — especially his mom.
Before finalizing plans to attend prom, Lee cleared the trip with his coaches and academic advisors.
“I was like, well, might as well go to my prom — see if I can,” Lee said. “When they say I can, I was excited.”
Lee, who also plans to walk across the stage at his school’s graduation ceremony in May, has stayed connected to his former school throughout his time in Lawrence.
He arrived at KU in August, just ahead of fall camp. He sat out most of the first three games before playing in the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech. A few games later and he was penciled into the starting lineup and his hard hits were a regular occurrence on Saturdays.
Throughout the season, Lee constantly heard from familiar faces back home, which only made the transition to his freshman season easier.
“When I got here, every day either my principal or all of my teachers called me and asked how I’m doing,” Lee said. “I’m like, ‘I’m doing great.’ He was like, ‘I’ll be watching you on Saturday.’ I would be like, ‘I’ll be looking forward to that.’ Every time I had a good game or a bad game, they would call me tell me what my mistakes was or what I did good.”
Happy with his decision to reclassify, Lee is thrilled to have the best of both worlds when he returns to his high school.
“Really, people were just like,” Lee said, “‘If you leave early, just go and do what you do. Just play your game.’"