clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Maryland punter Wade Lees to spend final season at UCLA

New, 27 comments

The 30-year-old Australian spent three years in College Park.

wade lees
wade lees
Alex Kirshner/SB Nation

After three years at Maryland, punter Wade Lees will spend his final year of eligibility on the west coast, announcing on Twitter Thursday that he will be playing his final season at UCLA.

Lees committed to Maryland as a 27-year old former Australian football player in December 2015, and was the Terps’ starting punter from that day on. He had his best season at Maryland in 2018, finishing with career highs in average yards per punt (40.9), punts inside the 20 (28) and punts over 50 yards (9). His season highlight, though, was his fake punt completion to Taivon Jacobs against Ohio State.

Lees was honored on senior day against Ohio State despite having one year of eligibility left, and reports surfaced after Maryland’s season-ending loss to Penn State that he was one of a handful of players who entered the NCAA’s new transfer portal.

As with everything that happened with Maryland football last season, Lees’s career year didn’t happen without controversy. He and fellow punter Matt Barber fought in practice the day after DJ Durkin was reinstated, with Barber saying Lees attacked him because he was a whistle-blower and spoke out about the culture within the program. Multiple players defended Lees after the incident, with Lees saying Barber’s recounting of the incident was “far from the truth.”

With Lees’ departure, Maryland will likely turn to incoming freshman Anthony Pecorella to take his spot. Bentley Faulkner was the only punter in spring camp, and both he and Mike Shinsky struggled in the spring game, which means Pecorella will provide much-needed depth at the position.