Lewis prepares for final visits

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt has been actively searching for his next "franchise" quarterback. Standout Floridian Thaddeus Lewis (6-ft-1 inches, 190) pounds from Miami Lakes High School in Hialeah, FL remains one of the last players on his wish list.

"The recruiting process for me is almost over. I have visits the next two weeks and then I can make a decision," stated Thaddeus Lewis. "I visit South Florida this weekend (1/20) and visit Duke the following weekend (1/27)."

Lewis visited the Panthers in early December (12/2). Scout.com ranks him the 67th best quarterback in the nation. Thaddeus is known as a deadly drop back passer with mobility.

"My visit to Pitt was great. I really enjoyed myself. The atmosphere is great. Pittsburgh is a great sports town," said Lewis. "The coaching staff seemed to have a great relationship with the players. It seemed like one big family. The facilities were incredible as well."

Lewis threw for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. He guided Miami Lakes High School to a 9-4 record. Thaddeus was subsequently named his team's MVP. He also won honorable mention All-Dade County honors by the Miami Herald.

"The trips to South Florida and Duke will give me something to compare to the Pitt visit. It will take a lot to match my experience in Pittsburgh. I'm going to take a look at their facilities, academics and potential playing time. Atmosphere is important to me as well."

Pitt, South Florida, Michigan State, West Virginia, Clemson, Duke and TCU have extended scholarship offers to Lewis. He is a starter on the basketball team and a member of the school's track team running the 200 meters and 400 meters. Lewis is primarily being recruited by the Panthers' assistant Aubrey Hill. He's a very solid student with a 3.3 grade point average.

"Pitt has two things going for them. Coach Wannstedt and Coach (Matt) Cavanaugh have professional experience and they can make me a better quarterback. The recruiting class coming to Pitt is very good as well. They have some great Florida players going there."

Thaddeus was quick to pinpoint one class of 2006 players that recently committed to Pitt. He stated, "I don't know Tamarcus Porter personally but I have seen him play. He's very good and the type of player you want on your team. I could see myself throwing the ball to him."

"I should know much more by the end of the month. When I finish my last visit, I'm going to have to go through the positives and negatives of each school and make the best decision for me."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.

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