The three-star defensive end from Akron (Ohio) Hoban is one of six in-state players at his position to hold scholarship offers from Ohio State. Although he is the lowest rated according to Scout.com, the 6-4, 235-pound Lewis said he has worked to stand out in one key area.
"Over the past couple of years I've tried to gain one specific trait," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "It's good to be a jack-of-all-trades but I tried to be a master of one. I kind of got there with my speed. I try to stay just as big and just as strong but try to get faster."
It was that outlook that helped Lewis land an early scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. Prior to Scout releasing its 2012 rankings, Lewis and teammate (and defensive lineman Greg McMullen) picked up OSU offers before their junior seasons began.
It was his second scholarship offer. Cincinnati got in first.
"(Hoban head coach Ralph) Orsini told me I got a call from (OSU offensive line coach Jim) Bollman and Coach Orsini let me know the next day at school early in the morning," Lewis said. "I was somewhat surprised. Prior to that I was hoping for a scholarship offer from them. That day in particular I wasn't expecting it."
Upon landing the offer, Lewis said he was appreciative of receiving it but said he did not plan to make a hasty decision. That continues today, as the lineman said he is still evaluating schools that have shown interest.
"I want to see all the schools that I'm interested in and see life outside of football," he said. "Ultimately this is going to be the place where I live for four years and I want to make sure it's homey. I still want to go out west to see schools like USC and Oregon and Florida."
In addition, Lewis mentioned Tennessee as a school likely to receive a visit in the near future. The Volunteers are the last school to have offered him.
However, the lineman said he remembers watching the local news when Chris Wells signed as part of OSU's class of 2006.
"Beanie Wells, this is the one thing I remember from anybody's signing day: I remember him on the news saying, ‘Growing up in Ohio, it's everybody's dream to play for Ohio State,' " Lewis said. "It's definitely an honor to be offered a scholarship by them."
As such, the threat of possible NCAA sanctions as well as pending suspensions for six players and head coach Jim Tressel have not had much of an impact on Lewis' thoughts on the Buckeyes.
"I haven't talked to Coach Tressel about it but one of our receivers from my school last year (Ryan Ross) walked on at Ohio State so he's there this year," Lewis said. "I got to talk to him while they were on spring break. It's pretty much a non burden for them down there from what he's telling me. It's one of those things where everybody knows it's there but nobody pays it any mind because it's a huge distraction."
And although both are listed as defensive ends, Lewis and McMullen might find themselves moving around this season.
"Last year and the year before were exclusively defensive end," Lewis said. "This year, the plan is to move around a lot, tweak our front. We plan on moving Greg down the gap some and bringing me over and playing us on the same side with me standing up as a hybrid-type player and take on some pass responsibility.
"I am definitely excited. Anything to make our defense better will definitely give me a feel for what I will most likely see in college."