The last time Johnathan Lewis threw a pass on his future field at High Point Solutions Stadium, it was in his Rutgers commitment video in April.
When Lewis returned to Rutgers in Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep’s 47-6 win over Jersey City (N.J.) Lincoln, he had the same feelings.
“It didn’t feel different,” Lewis said. “It felt like I was at home still. It felt amazing.”
A leader in the Scarlet Knights’ class of 2017, Lewis remains high on Rutgers.
The struggles of the offense under first-year offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer are well-documented, but Lewis believes in the direction of the staff.
“I truly believe that,” Lewis said. “The spread offense, high-tempo team — it’s going to work all the time.”
Lewis said he saw improvements with the latest performances from the offense, which featured sophomore Giovanni Rescigno at quarterback.
“I’ve seen that Gio has stepped up,” Lewis said. “I didn’t watch the (Minnesota) game because we had a game at the time. I saw the stats and he did really good.”
As Rutgers improves its personnel, Lewis believes his class gives the Scarlet Knights a good place to start. Lewis said Rutgers can improve with impact players on both sides of the ball.
“I’m just looking for the hype,” Lewis said. “With Bo Melton, give him the ball anywhere. He’ll make a play. Tyshon Fogg, he’s a monster linebacker. Micah (Clark) and Jamaal (Beatty), they’re amazing linemen. Everyone … in our class is amazing.”
Looked to as one of the leaders in the class, Lewis said the message he sends to his future teammates is simple.
“We just keep telling them that just trust in the process, that we’re going to be better,” said Lewis, who takes his official visit to Rutgers Dec. 9. “… Our class is going to change that.”
Lewis injured his shoulder on a two-point conversion attempt in the second quarter and sat out the rest of the game. He played two drives.
Lewis completed five of his first six passes for 53 yards but did his damage on the ground. He took six carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns.
“I felt good,” Lewis said. “I felt like my team and I were doing a good thing gelling together, especially against a team like Lincoln. We know, not like the same competition we always have. They came out to play their A-game and we had to do the same.
“I felt good. Didn’t feel any different from the beginning of the season, the middle of the season. Just got to keep doing this till the end.”