Lewis Back in College Park

Maryland played host to a pair of elite local targets Dec. 7, Gonzaga junior quarterback Nick Johnson and his classmate who is now back on the open market, Marcus Lewis. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Lewis has been a top Terps target since the summer, and UMD has never ceased recruiting him, even after he verbaled to Virginia Tech during the Hokies-Terps game back on Nov. 16.

Maryland played host to a pair of elite local targets Dec. 7, Gonzaga junior quarterback Nick Johns and his classmate who is now back on the open market, Marcus Lewis. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Lewis has been a top Terps target since the summer, and UMD has never ceased recruiting him, even after he verbaled to Virginia Tech during the Hokies-Terps game back on Nov. 16.

"Maryland has made it known they really want me there," said Lewis, who was committed to Tech less than a month. "Coach [Randy] Edsall said he'd still be recruiting me hard even after I committed to Virginia Tech, and he definitely wants me to come to Maryland."

Edsall made that known Dec. 7, when he and Lewis' recruiter, Mike Locksley, had him out to College Park. Lewis said he hadn't had a chance to have a sit-down with the Maryland staff since the summer, so the Terps were eager to have him and his teammate, Johns, on campus.

"It was great to be out there, watching the guys get ready for their bowl game," said Lewis, who has offers from Boston College, Clemson, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple and Virginia Tech. "t was a great experience, just watching them and then talking to Coach [Brian] Stewart about the defense. I really enjoyed it."

Lewis lauded Stewart's knowledge of the game and liked dissecting the defense with him. But the Gonzaga corner especially liked what Maryland's defensive coordinator told him after the technical football jargon.

"Coach Stew, he's a great coach, and he said I have a chance to come in and do something special. You can't say that about a lot of schools," Lewis said. "He said obviously the player of my caliber, I can go a lot of places and play, but [Maryland is] a chance to stay home and play in front of my family and friends, and you can't beat that. So that was something that stuck with me."

The Gonzaga corner also spoke to Locksley, his recruiter. The two have stayed in touch for months and have developed a rapport.

"Coach Locks, he's a funny guy," Lewis said. "When he recruits me, it's not all about football. He asks about family, what I've been up to. It's a lot of fun talking to him."

While Dec. 7 was Lewis' first time speaking one-on-one to the coaches since the summer, he has been in College Park several times during the fall. His Gonzaga squad played a pair of games in Byrd Stadium, and he also attended the Maryland-Syracuse game.

"Maryland didn't so well in that [Syracuse] game, but [the Terps are] up-and-coming. They could have easily been 9-2 if it weren't for some injuries," Lewis said. "I think with the guys they have coming back, they have a bright future. I think that's a program moving in the right direction for sure."

Besides Maryland, Lewis was able to take in Penn State and, of course, Virginia Tech recently. He said PSU has been coming hard after him and he expects an offer to materialize in short order.

"PSU is on me. I was down there when they played Nebraska and that was a good experience. They want me to come back and bring my mom up," said Lewis, who was recently visited by Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, PSU, Pittsburgh, Florida and Iowa, while Alabama is due in shortly. "That's a real nice place, a great atmosphere, great tradition. And Coach [Bill] O'Brien is coming to my school [this week], so he might offer then."

Virginia Tech, the school he decommitted from, is also still firmly in play. The Hokies were his first offer, and he did in fact enjoy that Tech-Terps game, despite the fact Virginia Tech lost.

"[Tech] is still definitely in play; I like it there a lot," Lewis said. "But I just wanted to wait things out, take my time. I sort of got excited when I was down there and made a quick decision at the game."

Lewis plans to take in Miami sometime during the spring, but he has no other planned visits beyond that. He said others may pop up, and he's sure he'll attend a couple of junior days, including one to Maryland for a basketball game.

"I'm open right now. I'm still looking for that one school that really sticks out, and it's going to take awhile to find it," Lewis said. "Maryland. Virginia Tech. Clemson. Miami. Boston College. Penn State. North Carolina. Pittsburgh. There's some West Coast schools coming into the picture as well. I'll know more after I take some more visits."

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