Kaiwan Lewis spent Sunday night sending away seven seniors at the St. Joseph’s postseason awards banquet.
“We were 10-1 and State Champions, so it was a great finish and the perfect ending for those seniors,” he said. “We had the trophy there and handed out a couple of awards. It was just a way to close out the year.”
The day also brought good news for the future.
That morning a phone call to LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis resulted in a scholarship offer.
“We were just talking about how my recruitment was going and which schools had begun to offer and he told me that he wanted to add LSU to the list,” said Lewis. “It was a big moment for me because LSU is an offer that not many people get, and it was even better that he trusted his evaluation enough to not even have to wait until a camp in the summer.
“Coach Chavis told me that I was the type of linebacker that he loved to coach. He said that if I went to LSU he could teach me a whole lot.”
Lewis, whose relationship with Chavis began last summer and picked back up once the college football season ended, pointed to The Chief’s experience in the SEC as a major pulling factor.
“He’s talked to me about the 20 years he spent in Tennessee and how he’s coached every type of linebacker you could imagine,” he said. “I feel like if I got around a coach like that then I would take my game to a whole new level. It definitely gives me a lot to think about.”
The offer is the 11th for the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder, who is being recruited by nearly every school as a linebacker.
“Coach Chavis said I would be a good middle linebacker, but he would look at me at each spot before making anything final,” said Lewis. “Tennessee just offered and they said that I could play either of the three linebacker spots. I am comfortable with anything, I just prefer standing up and playing linebacker over getting down there at defensive end.”
The Hammonton native will make a visit to Baton Rouge this spring, and he expects Chavis to make the flight to New Jersey at some point before the summer months.
“It’s a relationship I am definitely looking to build on,” said Lewis. “I know Chavis is doing a great job down at LSU because I talk to these other players and high school coaches that give me advice, and everyone mentions Chavis in the group of linebacker coaches that are respected all over.
“As for LSU, it’s a place with great tradition that will compete for championships over the next couple of years. That’s also a big thing for me.”
Lewis, whose latest offers came from LSU, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, said that the next month should be busy with visits.
“I talked with Connecticut, South Carolina has been on me a good bit, and of course Rutgers and then UCF have been after me to come visit since the start,” he said. “I just saw Rutgers and they really blew me away, so I’d say they are in a much better spot than before. I know it’s a long process, so I’m not trying to rule anyone out.”