"Football is about to begin, we visited and I talked to him about Iowa State, Coach McCarney and the program they have there," said Baytown Lee head coach Dick Olin. "Dan and his staff do a great job, plus it's in the Big 12 and they'll play down in Texas. I told him it's a great fit for him. I'm from Iowa originally.
"The type of style they play on defense is conducive to Will. He's a very aggressive kid and is going to grow into a weak-side linebacker's size. He'll probably go about 230-240 before he's done. He's got great speed and range. His best football is ahead of him, because he's going to be a big kid. I thought that he fit what Iowa State's trying to do."
Olin, an Iowa native, knows plenty about the program and was one of the keynote speakers at a spring coaching clinic in Ames. His step-son and former Baytown Lee quarterback Drew Tate signed with Iowa in 2003, but considered ISU at one time. The Cyclones also hosted defensive end Eddie McCray on an official visit last winter.
All of those factors were good enough for Lewis, who committed without ever making a visit to Ames.
"It's a beautiful city and good football program," said Lewis, who is on the all-Greater Houston team for this fall. "Eddie said the school was beautiful. I talked to Coach Cross last year when he recruited a few of our players and the interest grew from there."
Staying in the area played a key part in McCray signing with the University of Houston over the Cyclones. But that wasn't the case for Lewis.
"DeMontie Cross recruits our area and does a nice job down here representing Iowa State. One of our kids, Eddie McCray, went up there last year and spoke very favorably of it. After he got up there, he was really impressed and liked it a lot. But the University of Houston is 20 minutes away from here, so proximity kept him from going there."
"I talked to Will and his mother last night," Olin said. "She was very excited about it. The access, as far as getting to Des Moines and to Ames for the games, is really easy. Actually, it's not that much further than Texas Tech. Lubbock is about eight hours away from us."
Lewis attended the NIKE Camp in College Station this summer and was able to re-tool some areas of his game.
"I learned mostly technique and some inside stuff," he said.