"My high school coach [John Fiore] texted me that I'm officially a Rutgers student athlete," Lewis said. "But then I checked my Rutgers status online this morning and it said I was accepted. It was a great feeling."
Lewis decided to attend Rutgers in late February after an official visit to campus, but needed to re-take his ACT and apply to the University before finalizing his decision. After a two-month wait, Lewis is ready for the next step.
"It feels like I took three elephants off my back this morning," Lewis said. "It's a big relief. I feel great."
At Rutgers, Lewis re-joins Montclair teammate Julian Pinnix-Odrick, who signed with the Scarlet Knights as a defensive end. Lewis plans to enroll June 24 with the majority of incoming football freshmen.
"The recruiting coordinator at Rutgers [Tariq Ahmad] told me I'm going to be doing everything that the people on scholarship will be doing. That means classes and summer school with Julian and everything. Julian was telling me I better keep it clean if we're going to live together. ... I never really got to play with him because I was injured, but he's a great guy. It will be good to be his teammate."
Lewis announced plans to initially walk on at Rutgers in December, but reopened his recruitment after close friend Devin Fuller committed to UCLA. The Bruins began recruiting Lewis after Fuller put the two in touch.
But an official visit to Rutgers and meetings with the new staff sealed the deal on Lewis staying home.
"If I never got hurt, I'd be coming in with a different mindset, but I'm just excited to play college football," Lewis said. "Coming in now, I'm just thankful to be a part of the school, a part of the team and work hard day-by-day."
Lewis had a breakout sophomore season as a high-school running back in the Garden State, but a series of knee injuries kept him off the field for his junior and senior year at Montclair.
Lewis is still rehabilitating his knee from a second ACL tear, but expects to be ready to go when he arrives at Rutgers.
"I'm good, feeling great," Lewis said. "My knee feels great and I'm ready to play."