Change of Culture Draws Lewis to Rutgers

South Carolina linebacker Kaiwan Lewis speaks with Scout about why Rutgers is the right fit for his services as a graduate transfer. The former Hammonton (N.J.) St. Joseph star broke down reasons for his return to New Jersey after a weekend official visit and Monday commitment to Rutgers.

Rutgers added much-needed linebacker depth and brings a New Jersey talent back within its borders in the commitment of Kaiwan Lewis.

A standout linebacker at Hammonton (N.J.) St. Joseph’s, Lewis committed to Rutgers as a graduate-transfer and is immediately eligible when he arrives in training camp.

“The Rutgers culture of football has definitely changed since I was coming out of high school,” Lewis said. “Now they’re playing big-time football in the biggest media market. They’re playing against Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska. … Those are great teams and you play them back-to-back.”

Lewis spent three seasons at linebacker for South Carolina, and will graduate in the spring before he enrolls at Rutgers.

After official visits to both Rutgers and Nebraska, Lewis picked the Scarlet Knights Monday morning.

“I just felt like it was the right fit after being around the guys,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit for me to go over there and (try to) win the starting job and help them win a Big Ten championship. I just felt like we would both benefit from each other. My mom and dad both liked it. It’s just a good fit for me, I believe.”

Lewis received an inside look at Kyle Flood’s version of Rutgers football during his weekend official visit with family and a small group of 2015 verbal commits.

“I see a program that is on the rise,” Lewis said. “They came into the Big Ten the first year and won eight games. The guys have a domination about them this year. They want to win more. I’m all about winning more. I’m all about helping win and I’m hoping I can be the first to win a championship.”

Fellow South Jersey defender Quanzell Lambert hosted Lewis on his official visit.

“He’s always been my boy, and when I first started thinking about leaving South Carolina, we talked,” Lewis said. “He told me how it was, and he likes it there a lot. He told me about the plan the team has and how they want to attack the year. And things like that.”

Lewis becomes an instant contender for Kevin Snyder’s vacant middle linebacker position that includes juniors Isaiah Johnson and L.J. Liston.

“I just saw the facts, from the film to the numbers and statistics,” Lewis said on linebacker depth. “I felt like I knew my ability and I could come in and work and get the job.”

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