RECRUITING: Headhunter Lewis Will Look At UF

The term headhunter deluxe seems to fit Anthony Lewis of Haltom City (TX) perfectly. There is a quarterback at Grapevine (TX) who would probably offer a reluctant but truthful endorsement of the 6-2, 220-pounder Lewis who has the top Division I programs in the nation clamoring for a commitment.

"We were playing Grapevine last year," Lewis said, recalling the big hit during the 2004 season. "With about three minutes left in the game, the quarterback rolled out for a pass and I nailed him and knocked his helmet off. We ended up winning the game."

With 110 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions his junior season, Lewis proved to be a consistently disruptive force. It isn't the hard hits that have the college coaches calling, it is the consistency in his game.

Lewis has been out of school since the May 8 and will be back in school in early August. Until school is back in session, he will be visiting many of the schools that are interested in him. Although he has no clearcut favorite, he has quite a few schools that interest him so he's ready to travel. And committing to an out of state school won't be a problem, either.

"It doesn't matter because both of my parents work for the airlines, so traveling is not a problem," he said. "I grew up my whole life in Texas and am not very familiar with the Florida area. Still, I will go where I feel comfortable with the coaches and players."

One of those places he plans to visit is Gainesville and the University of Florida. With the lack of experience and depth at the linebacker position at Florida, it is an opportune time for outstanding linebackers to consider playing for the Gators.

"I have talked to Coach (Dan) Mullen a couple of times and he seemed like a real nice guy," he said. "He made me want to learn more about Florida."

When he isn't traveling this summer, he's getting ready for a football season in which he hopes to see Haltom City in the playoffs in 2005.

"I think we are going to come out strong," he said. "After going three years without being in the playoffs, I think we will go deep next year. We have the most returning starters in the district. We have all of our wide receivers coming back. We have two defensive linemen coming back, and our secondary can lock down."

He understands he will have to play a huge role for the team to make significant improvements. Lewis likes the pressure that is on his shoulders and he knows what he has to do to help his team.

"I play both middle linebacker and outside linebacker," he said. "This will be my second year of calling the defenses. My strengths are power and I am a smart player and know how to make my way to the ball."

Anthony Lewis will be one to watch with a linebacker board that is suspect at the moment for the Gators. In a position that is thin locally but rich nationally, Lewis would be a key get for Florida in 2006.

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