Tampa, FL--Sophomore defensive end Eric Lee saw action in 11 games in 2012, starting five at defensive end posting 17 tackles, a half sack and 1.5 TFL. While the Bulls ended a discouraging 2012 season with a 27-3 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Panthers, Eric Lee has been anxious and enthusiastic to get started under the tutelage of new defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.
"Oh yes, I'm so excited," Lee said. "The season has been the only thing on my mind since the summer hit. So it's been working hard on my craft. Coach Bresnahan and Coach Mathis have been preparing us this whole summer and fall camp. Especially at Vero to get ready for the season."
Enrolling in January of 2012 as an early enrollee for South Florida, Lee had a leg up on several freshman heading into last season, which led him to early playing time. Now as a sophomore, he's took that experience and it's helped him immensely with preparing for his second campaign in Tampa Bay.
"I'm more aware of the game speed now, the physicality that comes with it, all aspects," Lee said. "Traveling, just having the mindset of going to a game. Knowing what to look for and what not to do during the game and what to do before the game to prepare myself. I feel like that was a great aspect for me to be apart of."
Playing in the vigorous heat in the Sunshine State of Florida, containing or adding mass can be difficult at times. Eric Lee is familiar with that. Lee played at 220 pounds in his freshman campaign and adding weight was one of his primary goals this offseason, along with honing his skills.
"My craft, just me as a defensive end working on my moves," Lee said. "My weight, gaining weight, that was an issue last year. I feel like right now I've gained weight and I feel like I'm more confident in my abilities."
Now tipping the scales at 240 pounds, Lee is excited to throw his new frame around in 2013 and believes it'll help him tremendously.
"Oh yes, because as a defensive end you have to hold your own a lot," Lee said. "Especially in double teams and other aspects like that. Having that extra weight, even though you necessarily don't feel it, when you go into a play or a certain move, it might work better with that extra weight than it would you being lighter and not being effective."
Lee looks to battle with a very deep defensive front for snaps and playing time led by newcomer Aaron Lynch.
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