Lee was a standout at Bellaire High School in football and basketball, lettering three times in both sports. He was named All-Ohio in football and basketball and was also MVP his senior year at high school.

He made an impact on WVU's freshman team immediately, gaining the most yards on the ground  for the highly touted freshman team in 1971. He carried the ball 97 times for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He was also outstanding the following spring in two Blue-Gold games as he ran 40 times for 173 yards and two TDs. As a sophomore, he rushed for 304 yards on 76 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 74 yards and had his best game against Tulane when he rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 13 yards in that contest.

Lee missed what would have been his junior year with injuries. Thus, entering the 1974 season he was switched to tailback and was listed behind Dwayne Woods. That season, he was the team's second leading rusher with 543 yards. He was also third in scoring with five TDs and 30 points. He was slated to play mostly at the fullback position during his senior year. He led the Mountaineers with 10 touchdowns in his senior season. In addition, he carried the ball 15 times for 76 yards in the 1975 Peach Bowl Game. Lee is ranked fourth on the WVU all-time fullback list with 1,470 yards rushing.

Lee was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1976 in the third round (90th overall). He played three years for the Colts from 1976–1978. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and had 1,100 total yards along with six touchdowns during his time with the Colts. In 1976, he had a 69-yard touchdown run, which at the time, was the eighth longest in team history.