Lewis grew up watching the big red

It's not bad when your first official year as a varsity running back nets you around 2,200 yards. Add to that the fact that you stand a 6 foot, 4 inches and weigh 210 pounds, impressive becomes immensely intriguing. Well, Malachi is intriguing all right, to the tune of 30 offers. That's a lot since the first one he got from the Huskers. The question, though, is there any interest in the big red?

It didn't take Nebraska long to see what kind of potential Rio Mesa running back Malachi Lewis had. Sure, running for almost 2,200 yards will do that for a reputation, but there was probably something else. Standing 6 foot, 4 inches, weighing 210 pounds and running a reported 4.5/40, there's nothing common about Lewis' measurables and for some schools, his potential.

Malachi would agree

Since his first offer, no working on over 30, Lewis has heard over and over from school after school, he could start right away. Most kids would dismiss this as just talk, but not Lewis. He believes it's true. "I've been running my whole life, but last year was like my first year of starting at the position, and I had almost 2,200 yards," he said. "I'd say that means something. I know I have the confidence to play."

Whatever Lewis says about his own ability, you'd be hard pressed to argue with the offers he has in hand. That many offers, that's a lot of justification for what you can do. At this point, though, Lewis looks at the offers as more of an opportunity rather than any sort of reinforcement that he can play. "I know I can run, because that's what I do. That's what I have always done," he said. "Now I am just looking at where I will be doing that in college."

Malachi is looking, that's true. But he's not exactly looking very hard. Oh, it's not that he isn't interested in them, because he is. The thing is, one of his most important criteria isn't something any coach can tell him or show him. It's something that team has to show.

It's about success, wins, bowls, titles and just what kind of opportunity his future team has at any of those and all. Lewis won't make any bones about it, he wants to go someplace he can win. "When I am looking at a team, I am looking at the team they have, how they did last year, what they are bringing back and what kind of recruiting classes they get," Lewis said. "If you won a national title last year, you could have had a bunch of seniors and you won't be as good this year."

"I look at everything, because I want to win a national title – more than one if possible."

For Nebraska, it's been awhile since they won a national title. Well, if you are a Husker fan that is. While most of the schools in Division 1-A would love to say it's been just eight years since their last national title, for the Husker fans, because that title was the third in a four year run, they are feeling kind of needy. Some of them pretend that there are those, who are Husker fans, who don't even remember the last time Nebraska dominated opponents from beginning to end.

Malachi does

"Oh yeah, I watched them when they were beating everyone," he said of Nebraska during the mid to late-90s, when Nebraska went on a five year stretch, where they boasted a record of 60-3, winning three national titles. "You have to like a team that wins as much as they did."

That's the old Nebraska, though, one steeped in the "option", built on the backs of short but strong-as-an-ox linemen, paving their way into history. This year's version is one simply trying to make it back. Not necessarily to that kind of dominance, but something a lot closer than they have been in the last two years.

Malachi thinks they are on their way. "They are definitely an up-and-comer," he said of the Huskers. "They've been rebuilding a bit, but they have gotten the recruiting classes and they have gotten backs like Marlon Lucky."

While some players have said Lucky's name like he was the reason they didn't want to go to Nebraska, you won't hear comments like that from Lewis. Pointing back to the comments about his confidence in his own ability, competition isn't something he fears. He relishes it in fact, because he believes players like that make you better, and that's what turns an up-and-comer into a champ.

"Competition makes you better and if you have that all over, you end up having a good team," he said. "If you don't have to compete for your job, just how hard are you going to try?"

While competition won't be a consideration, obviously what teams do to their competition will be. And that is actually a good thing when it comes to narrowing down his list. He's not worried about 30 offers right now or if it becomes 50 or more down the road. It's their seasons, which will either keep a team in the race or eliminate them entirely.

"I'm going to wait until my season is over but the college football season too. That way I can see how everyone does," he said. "I'll look at how they finished up, how I got along with the coaches and what kind of recruiting class they had that year."

"After all that, I'll get it narrowed down and then make my visits. So, I have plenty of time."

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