Center Matt Lee declares for 2024 NFL Draft

Redshirt senior center Matt Lee prepares to snap the ball in the first quarter of Miami’s game versus Miami (OH) at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 1, 2023. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Center Matt Lee, the five-year college football veteran who made his mark in only one year at Miami, declared for the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon.

“Thank you University of Miami and UCF for an awesome five years,” Lee said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I am declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft. #GoCanes #ChargeOn.”

Lee, originally from Oviedo, Florida, spent his first four seasons at the University of Central Florida, where he was a three-year starter after redshirting his freshman year in 2019. His last season with the Knights, Lee was rated the third-highest center nationally by Pro Football Focus.

Lee started every game for the Hurricanes in 2023 and was part of an offensive line that allowed just 14 sacks on the year — the best mark in the ACC and tied for 14th best in the NCAA. Lee also paved the way for Miami’s rushing attack, which eclipsed 200 yards five times in 2023, including a season-high 323 rushing yards against Temple.

But Lee’s lone season in Coral Gables didn’t come without disappointment. The ‘Canes offense struggled mightily at times during their 7-5 campaign, scoring a season-low six points against NC State.

Still, Lee earned an 89.1 pass-blocking grade in 2023, fourth-best among centers, and a 70.3 run-blocking rate according to PFF. He’s only allowed one sack the past three seasons.

Lee is the fourth Hurricane to declare for the 2024 NFL Draft — where he’s ranked the fifth-best available center according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. — joining teammates James Williams, Leonard Taylor and Javion Cohen. Additionally, eight Hurricanes have entered the transfer portal so far, including starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and wide receiver Colbie Young.

Miami ends its season against Rutgers in the 2023 Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28, at 2:15 p.m. on ESPN.