Malcolm Lee

Iowa Western's Malcolm Lee, right, signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to continue his football career with the Jayhawks, who hired Les Miles last month. 

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Les Miles Era at Kansas will include Malcolm Lee.

Lee, the Bellevue West and Iowa Western product, signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to continue his football career with the Jayhawks, who hired Miles last month.

Miles owns a career record of 142-55 in four years at Oklahoma State and 11-plus seasons at LSU, where he led the Tigers to the 2007 BCS national championship.

He has been hired at Kansas of the Big 12 Conference to resurrect one of the nation’s worst Power Five programs, and Lee, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive end, believes he will do it after visiting last weekend.

“You could feel there’s a buzz around football at the moment, with Coach Miles arriving there,’’ he said. “He was very interested in trying to get to know me. I had a 45-minute chat with him in his office and it was really cool to kind of do my best to pick the brain of a future hall of fame coach.’’

Lee was one of 15 Iowa Western players who signed on Wednesday. Two others will join Power Five programs: cornerback Daniel Isom at Washington State and offensive lineman Josh Wegener, who will walk on at Nebraska.

Lee also considered Texas and Iowa for a time, before narrowing his choices to Houston and Kansas. He said he likes the challenge of helping a dormant program and getting a degree from a highly regarded institution.

“Those were the biggest things for me, just the culture change that’s going on down there and of course, the education,’’ Lee said.

He said the atmosphere at the Villanova-KU men’s basketball game he attended didn’t hurt, either.

“It was probably one of the top three most insane sporting events that I’ve ever been at,’’ he said.

Lee had a rough sophomore year with the Reivers, playing in only four games due to a severe elbow injury. He was granted a medical redshirt, which allows him three years of eligibility in Lawrence.

“I think I missed one day of winter conditioning,’’ Lee said. “You put everything you have into something, and then you go into the season and only play four games and don’t get to reap the benefits of your labor. It’s a little disheartening, but it will make me work harder than I have before so I can get back on the field again.’’

Three other Reivers signed with Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the Group of Five: defensive back Korey Hernandez with Eastern Michigan, defensive lineman Dylan Lewis with Louisiana and offensive lineman Tre Johnson with Southern Miss.

Six more joined Football Championship Subdivision programs: offensive lineman and Lewis Central graduate Ja’Chai Baker with Southeast Missouri State, quarterback T.J. Starks with Prairie View A&M, linebackers Simeon Gatling and Kalen Jennings with Morgan State, defensive back Jerod Alton with Lamar and offensive lineman Natneal Zemene with Bethune-Cookman.

Linebacker Danny Koch, a St. Albert graduate, and wide receiver Bennett Spry signed with Grand View of the NAIA, and offensive lineman Jack Van Dusseldorp joined Waldorf, another NAIA program.

Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier said he expects another 15 to 18 players to sign during the next period in February.

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