The evolving Rutgers offense needs more quarterbacks that fit the long-term system, and Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep 2017 Johnathan Lewis sees a strong fit.
Lewis helped lead the Marauders to an 8-3 season, and the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder recently visited his in-state school to see the changes under Chris Ash.
“I’m feeling pretty good about the program with what coach Ash told us about how he already changed the program,” Lewis said. “With the nutrition and the lifting and the facilities already changing, he’s serious about it.”
St. Peter’s Prep has a rich history at Rutgers with a list that includes three-year starter Keith Lumpkin and five-star running back Savon Huggins.
Rutgers signed defensive back K.J. Gray as one of its top 2016 prospects and has a Prep walk-on on the roster. Gray visited alongside Lewis for Saturday’s event.
“It was pretty good because we already have a DB there with [preferred walk-on] D'won Walker,” Lewis said. “People from Prep are there, and it’s good to know that they’re doing well.”
While Gray is letting Lewis do his own thing, he said, the Rutgers staff is aggressive in its recruitment. The transition to a power-spread and away from the traditional pro-style interests Lewis.
“I think it’s good,” he said. “It’s similar to what I run at Prep in the spread offense, so it’s somewhere that I feel I can be successful. I like what they do.”
Change was a significant portion of Ash’s presentation to recruits. From practices to workouts to attitude, Ash’s vision for Rutgers starts with accountability,” Lewis said.
“They’re trying to change how last year there were a lot of incidents,” he said. “They’re changing where athletes love for now. Instead of living far away from the campus, they’re closer as a team. I think it’s a good change for them. I like that.”
Lewis’ recruiting journey continues tomorrow with a visit to Temple. He visits Syracuse Saturday with planned March visits to Iowa and Wake Forest.
Notre Dame, the home of former St. Peter’s Prep quarterback Brandon Wimbush, is also in contact.
“I want a great education and how the students are finding a good fit on campus is important,” Lewis said. “I want to major in engineering or architecture, so great program for that is good. I want it to be an environment where the people around the area are good people. Are they friendly? Do they treat you like family?”