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Multi-sport star Dylan Lee signs with San Jose State
Dylan Lee signing
Flanked by parents Theresa and Colt, Dylan Lee was recognized Friday at East Union for his signing with San Jose State’s football team. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin

A gym rat for most of his life, Dylan Lee had always envisioned a future in basketball for himself.

Those hoop dreams have been replaced by football fantasies.

East Union held a special event Friday at Dalben Center to recognize his commitment to San Jose State. He officially signed a national letter of intent on Feb. 1 to continue his burgeoning football career with the Mountain West Conference school.

Dylan Lee signing
East Union senior Dylan Lee holds up a San Jose State banner Friday at Dalben Center. He has signed with the Spartans’ football team, which recruited the versatile standout as an inside linebacker. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin
The strapping 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior also excels in baseball, and he’s an All-Valley Oak League first-team selection in all three sports. But it was on the hardwood where he has spent the most time.

“Growing up, it was always basketball,” Lee said. “That changed after last basketball season, really, because I got my first offer in May. That’s when football started to really take off.”

Lee received four NCAA Division I scholarship offers in all, receiving two last May from San Diego State and Columbia. San Jose State offered in June and maintained consistent contact with Lee on social media. Dartmouth was the last school to make an offer, doing so after East Union’s final game of the season in November.

“It all came down to where I felt like I’d succeed with the most, and where I felt the best connection with the coaches,” Lee said.

The Spartans had what he was looking for.

San Jose State has a program on the rise under sixth-year head coach Brent Brennan, who led the Spartans to a 7-5 finish and an invitation to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last fall. During the COVID-shortened 2020 season, they went 7-1, earned the Mountain West championship and an Arizona Bowl appearance.

East Union coach Mike Kuhnlenz believes San Jose State landed a great prospect who is only beginning to realize his potential as a football player.

“They’re very lucky,” he said. “He’s a great kid and he has great grades — that’s never going to be an issue for him. The guy never stops (working). The rigors of being a Division I athlete is not going to be an issue for him. If he’s not at practice, he’s lifting weights.

“They’re getting a competitor. They’re getting a guy who loves to win, and they’re getting a freak athlete. He did everything but O-line (offensive line) for us this year. Super excited for him. He deserves everything good that comes his way. Couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Lee’s versatility has been his strength, no matter the sport. He’s a four-year varsity starter in basketball and has played all five positions for the Lancers’ hoops team. In the spring, he pitches and can play any infield position.

In football, he was one of the state’s most prolific wide receivers during his junior season, compiling 1,350 yards and 17 touchdowns on 69 catches.

This year, he played mostly at quarterback but also lined up at running back and wide out. Additionally, he played at all three levels on defense and served as the special teams’ punter. Lee was voted the VOL’s Co-Utility Player of the Year. 

For San Jose State, he’ll play inside linebacker. He earned a three-star rating at linebacker by 247 Sports last summer.  

“It helps me a lot, actually,” Lee said of his experiences at different positions. “You have to remember everything having to do all those things. Going to college, everyone says it’s a lot of information to take in, but I feel like coming from high school where I was doing all of that, it’ll help me in the long run. Getting to focus on just one (position) will just make life a lot easier and slow the game down for me.”

Lee plans on majoring in business but hopes he can take his playing career to another level.

“The goal after college is to play in the NFL,” he said. “It has always been my goal, is to play a professional sport whether it’s basketball or football.”