Malachi Lewis - Not Your Ordinary Back

Michigan continues to hit the West coast hard this year, this time targeting one of California's most intriguing prospects. Oxnard Rio Mesa High's Malachi Lewis is one of the taller backs in the country, but that didn't stop him from sprinting through defenses last year. A number of schools have stepped forward with offers. Have the Wolverines joined the club?

Various positions in sport have what is termed as a prototypical size. Sometimes, though, you come across an athlete that is successful despite being outside of the mold. That is certainly the case with Oxnard, California's Malachi Lewis. The 6-4, 215-pounder plays running back for his high school team, and has set himself apart as one of the top prospects in the Golden State.

"My season went pretty good," said Lewis. "I had 2200 yards, 25 touchdowns, and we went all of the way to the semifinals."

Lewis is an atypical running back on any level, but that hasn't stopped a number of programs from recruiting him for that position. Others, however, have projected him elsewhere. With personal bests of 10.8 in the 100m and 22.0 in the 200m, some coaches see his future on the perimeter.

"At the last combine I went to I ran a 4.3 sprint, so I'm a back that can either go up the middle or outside," said Lewis. "Some of the schools are recruiting me as a running back and some are recruiting me as a H-back. Michigan is recruiting me as a receiver."

Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English was one of the many coaches on hand for Lewis's impressive speed display. He didn't wait long to inform the versatile youngster of the plans the Maize and Blue would have in store for him.

"He said that Michigan is real big on me and that he likes me as a receiver," recalled Lewis. "He said that the receiver coach doesn't recruit receivers under six-feet and he thinks that I could come there and play. I don't have a position preference. I'd play receiver."

The offer from the Wolverines helped push Lewis' tally to twenty…and still rising. The Rio Mesa standout has yet to receive offers from in-state powers USC and UCLA, but he expects that to change with one of them any day now.

"I don't have offers from them yet," he said. "USC is going to offer soon. UCLA, I don't know. My recruiter came and brought back the head coach Dorrell. I don't know what's happening with them. They said they only have 10 scholarships this year."

While offers from the local programs would put them in favorable positions with Lewis, an early decision from the rising prospect isn't likely. He has a few factors that will weigh heavily into his decision…and distance from home is not one of them.

"I'm basically looking for a chance to play and the opportunity to develop and become better," Lewis said. "I'm not really worried about where I go or the weather or anything. I could end up on the West or East Coast. That's not going to play a role in my decision."

"I don't have a favorite or even a top five," continued Lewis. "I'm basically going to be watching the season closely and seeing what teams are good and what teams are not."

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