Xavier Lewis makes mark at OU camp

Camps still matter, and Xavier Lewis is a great example of that following his outstanding performance at OU's camp.

Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for somebody to come out of nowhere and have a terrific camp to put themselves on the map.

But with social media, the amount of attention toward recruiting, it just doesn’t happen too often anymore.

It did last weekend at Oklahoma as few had heard of Pflugerville (Texas) Connally defensive back Xavier Lewis before Saturday and everybody knew who he was by Sunday afternoon.

Lewis said he was at OU’s camp last year and enjoyed it. Problem was back then he was working at wide receiver. Now a cornerback 100 percent of the time at 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, Lewis has found his home on the football field.

“This has been real exciting,” Lewis said. “It has been a lot of fun. We came here last year just to try it out, and I wanted to do the same this year.”

Usually by the time a recruit is heading into the summer of his senior year, you can have a pretty good idea of how things are going to go. But Lewis is a mystery from this point on. He is expected to camp at several more places in the next few weeks.

Should he excel as much as he did in Norman, schools might have no choice but to take a hard look at the under the radar prospect.

A receiver for most of his football life, Lewis made the switch to cornerback toward the end of last season because it was clear wide receiver wasn’t going to pan out.

It wasn’t a natural transition, but Lewis has put in the time and effort to try to learn all the intricacies of the game.

“Footwork has been the biggest adjustment,” Lewis said. “Cornerback requires a lot of footwork and getting used to backpedaling and being in coverage. But I think I’m starting to do it well.”

It wasn’t until the one-on-one portion of the camp where it was revealed Lewis was easily one of the best performers in Norman. Interception after interception had OU coaches and defensive backs excited to get Lewis as many reps as possible.

Anytime there was a nice wide receiver lining up, OU defensive backs like Steven Parker, William Johnson, Zack Sanchez would encourage Lewis to shut him down. More often than not, that’s exactly what Lewis did.

Lewis’ father said his son has also been focused on track and maybe track has been the primary focus until the last few months. Schools have started to notice what Lewis has done on the football field. And if nothing else, opportunities are coming his way.

Lewis said he intends to camp at TCU, SMU and maybe Kansas. The Jayhawks are the biggest Division I school to be showing the consistent interest.

Pflugerville has obviously been kind to OU in the last two recruiting cycles with running back Samaje Perine for the 2014 class and defensive back P.J. Mbanasor for 2015. Lewis would love to join that list but knows he has a lot of work to do to get there.

“I played with P.J. last year in the 7-on-7 state qualifiers so I know what he can do,” Lewis said. “I didn’t know Samaje personally but everybody knows about Samaje now. That’s where I want to be.”

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