High school career
Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Lee moved to New Albany, Ohio during his sixth grade and attended New Albany High School, where he played as a quarterback, wide receiver, safety, and return specialist and led his team to an appearance in the state semifinals as a senior, where they lost to Trotwood-Madison High School, 33-32. In his junior year, Lee helped the Eagles compile a 9-3 record, as the regional semifinalist also captured the Ohio Capital Conference title. As a senior, Lee concentrated on quarterback and secondary duties, helping lead the Eagles to an 11-3 record, including a 7-0 mark as the Division II State Final Four choice captured the regional and Ohio Capital Conference titles. He was named first-team Associated Press Division II All-state as he accounted for over 1,700 yards of offense and 21 touchdowns and recorded five interceptions.
Lee also competed for both the Eagles’ indoor and outdoor track & field teams. During the 2012 indoor season, he had a personal-best 7.23-second clocking in the 60-meter dash and also had a 5’10” (1.78m) high jump at the OSU Buckeye Qualifier Meet.  Performing for the outdoor team, he captured the 200-meter title with a 22.21-second clocking and was a member of the 4x400 relay team that took gold with a time of 3:24.53 at the District Running Event;  he also had a season-best 43.52-second run as a member of the 4x100 relay team that finished third at the Stingel Invitational.  In order to concentrate on offseason football training, Lee was limited during the 2013 indoor season. For the outdoor team in 2013, he finished third in the 100 meters with a personal-best time of 11.06 seconds at the Central District III Meet. 
Lee was rated by Rivals.com as a three-star recruit. He was also rated the 29th-best safety in the nation and received four-star status from Scout.com, while ESPN rated him the 28th-best overall player in the state of Ohio.  On May 26, Lee committed to Ohio State University to play college football.  
Lee played in two games as a true freshman in 2013, before suffering an injury which caused him to receive a medical redshirt. Prior to his redshirt freshman season in 2014, Lee switched to linebacker and became a starter.    He was named the Defensive MVP of the 2015 Sugar Bowl after he recorded seven tackles and two sacks.  
At the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, Lee solidified his position in the first round. Performing at just three pounds lighter than his playing weight of 235 pounds, Lee put up solid numbers in physical tests, leading all linebackers in almost every drill.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
| 6 ft 1 in |
| 232 lb |
| 33 1 ⁄ 4 in |
| 9 3 ⁄ 4 in |
|4.47 s||1.54 s||2.60 s||4.20 s||7.12 s|| 33 1 ⁄ 2 in |
| 11 ft 1 in |
|All values from NFL Combine |
On April 28, 2016, Lee was drafted in the first round with the 20th overall pick by the New York Jets. 
On June 4, 2017, Lee was involved in a verbal altercation with a woman at the Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island. Leonard Williams pulled Lee away from the francas, and restrained him.