Lewis: 'I've Always Wanted To Go To NC State'

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Everett Lewis talks with Pack Pride.

On Signing Day most NC State fans who follow recruiting were probably asking the same question. Who is Everett Lewis?

It's safe to say the talented defender wasn't an unknown to the Wolfpack coaching staff, as defensive line coach Todd Stroud and head coach Chuck Amato have been recruiting him for nearly a year now.

"NC State first started watching me in the spring," Lewis told Pack Pride. "I ran for 200 yards in a game when I was playing running back, and they were recruiting me ever since back then.

"They've been on me the longest, and that's always been where I wanted to go. I've always wanted to go to NC State."

After a stellar junior season where he led the team in tackles as a safety, he moved to cornerback in 2005, registering 38 tackles, four pass breakups, and two interceptions. For his efforts, Lewis was tabbed a second-team All-Broward selection by the Miami Herald.

NC State continued to monitor his progress both on the field and in the classroom. The Wolfpack knew of his talent as a football player, but Lewis had to make strides in the classroom and that may have hindered his exposure and recruitment.

"I played at Hollywood Hills in the ninth grade before coming to St. Thomas," Lewis said. "I'm not going to lie, I didn't work as hard on my schoolwork as I needed to early on.

"It probably did hurt me in recruiting, but I'm just happy to be where I am now. I've put the past behind me, and I'm now trying to do the best I can."

Lewis' future was still up in the air until last Tuesday, when he received some good news from St. Thomas Aquinas head coach George Smith.

"I got my NC State offer on Tuesday," Lewis said. "Coach Smith called me out of class and let me know that NC State came through with the full ride."

After receiving an official offer from NC State, Lewis inked with the Wolfpack on signing day, joining nine other St. Thomas Aquinas football players in signing Division I-A scholarships.

"It feels great now that I've signed with NC State," he said. "That's the school I've been wanting to go to for a while now, and when it all became official I couldn't get any happier.

"It meant a lot signing those papers because I came from a hard life. I had to work for everything, and I'm going to be the first one from my family to go to college. Now I have that chance, and I'm going to make the best of it."

Lewis plans on visiting NC State in the near future, and admits that he still has some work to do in the classroom. He even mentioned that attending Hargrave Military Academy was an option if he didn't receive the necessary grades to enroll at NC State in the fall.

"Well, if I don't get my grades, I am going to go to Hargrave for a year," said Lewis. "I don't even think that would be a bad thing because it's a military school and it will help me. I can get bigger, stronger, and faster, and I would still have four years at NC State.

"My goal is to make it this year though. I think I'm going to get the grades I need to be at NC State next year."

Lewis is the second player NC State head coach Chuck Amato has signed from St. Thomas Aquinas, as the Wolfpack landed cornerback Greg Golden in 2001. In the past five recruiting classes, St. Thomas Aquinas has produced more Division I-A scholarship players, 31, than any school in the state of Florida. Next year's class is also strong, headlined by Lewis' close friend, safety Major Wright.

"I think NC State is going to look at Major Wright real hard," Lewis said. "We've clicked, and we're real tight. He's like 6'2 and 195 pounds and real fast. He's a big-hitter like me and played strong safety for us."

As for Lewis, he has been recruited to play cornerback by the Wolfpack.

"I'm going to play cornerback for them," he said. "That's what I played this year, and that is what I like to play. I've played both safety and corner, and I think playing safety has made me a even better corner. I can lockdown defenders and that's what I'm going to do for NC State."

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