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Former UFL Defensive Lineman Malcolm Lee Signed by Ottawa

The Redblacks have signed DE/LB Malcolm Lee from Kansas. He was previously drafted by the XFL.

Ottawa continues to sign players from the USFL and XFL merger. Per his representatives Malcolm Lee has signed with the Ottawa Redblacks. Their latest player signed is defensive lineman Malcolm Lee from University of Kansas. Lee is an Omaha, Nebraska native still looking to start his professional career a year removed from graduation. He also is no stranger to alternative football as his father Oudious Lee once strapped up the cleats for my home town Denver Gold of the USFL.

College Career

While in college at Kansas Lee was a part time starter for two years before stepping in as a full-time starter. Over the next two seasons he started 24 of 25 games and produced 6 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 3 tipped passes. None of which are eye-popping numbers by any stretch, but you could see the progression in his game from year two to year three, and into year four. 

Lee was unfortunately a long shot to be selected by an NFL team given his paltry numbers, and the fact he wasn’t invited to the combine. This did not prevent him from seeing some NFL interest.

As he would go on to attend two rookie mini-camps in the state of New York, for the Bills and Giants. He also had an invite from Minnesota. He didn’t leave with a contract turning his attention to the XFL. Just months later his phone was ringing again. This time with the XFL’s Seattle Sea Dragons on the other side. 

From XFL Draft Pick to CFL Rookie 

As a part of the 2023 draft class Lee was selected in the XFL Rookie Draft by the Seattle Sea Dragons led by Jim Haslett, Ron Zook and Randy Mueller. When that brain trust selects a defensive player, all other teams should take notice. Lee was not the most productive player in college, but he comes with all the tools to find success as professional pass rusher. 

At 6’4 255 pounds he measured in with a 79 inch wing span, and put up 15 reps in the bench press. His broad jump was the third highest number at the Kansas pro day. He also managed a respectable 34 inch vertical displaying some explosion in his game. His 4.65 40-yard dash was slightly underwhelming but nothing to shy away from at 4.65, with a 1.6 10-yard split according to 

After being selected by the XFL in June, Lee began to prepare for the professional ranks with his eyes set on a February kick off date. That was until it was announced the USFL, and XFL would merge. Suddenly everything we knew about spring football was in question. 

Dispersal Draft Despair

With 8 teams being shuttered for 2024, this left over 400 players looking for homes. This included three different Kansas players from the 2023 XFL Rookie Class. Unfortunately this time Lee would not be selected. So his agent went to work promoting him to the best alternative option, the CFL. 

While Lee drew interest from multiple IFL, and AFL teams he chose to wait out the process and see if he could find another home outdoors. Ottawa liked what they saw and chose to to bring him in to compete in camp. It’s safe to say he doesn’t have to worry about Ottawa disappearing before 2024. 

Lee will face some rather stiff competition for a roster spot but it’s nothing he hasn’t faced before during college. Something tells me he isn’t shying away from the competition, and he will be giving it his all after watching his other options in the NFL, and XFL go awry. The positive thing here is Lee didn’t wait. Sometimes players wait a season before pursuing alternative options, but Lee didn’t. Hungry for a professional opportunity he kept and open mind and worked toward his next chance wherever it was going to come from. 

Final Thoughts

Lee is an easy guy to root for. In our conversations he came across as a respectful, humble, and intelligent man who understands he is in no position to scoff at this CFL contract. Everyone wants to be in the NFL, but being self aware enough to understand you have to pursue other options to stay relevant, and continue to try and get on an NFL radar says a lot about Lee as a person. 

Not every player has the ability to humble themselves in this manner even knowing it could be the step they have to take to get where they believe they belong. We just watched Detroit sign Mathieu Betts after the CFL season. This came after he originally signed with the CFL in 2019. That should be an inspiration to CFL players across the league that it’s not over if you continue to take the necessary steps to better yourself as a player and absorb coaching every season. Now the question remains who will be his position coach in 2024? 

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@SamShadySports Reporter
I began writing years ago out of an obsession with the NFL. I never intended to take it anywhere but after watching so many others succeed as freelance writers I decided it was worth a shot. I jumped I and have loved every minute of it. I have expanded my content to include YouTube, as well as Twitter Spaces, SoundCloud, and should be launching on Amazon Podcasts soon.
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