Hurd look-a-like Lewis a Vols option?

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The athletic Jaason Lewis is scheduled to take an official visit to Tennessee on Jan. 30. But if you ask his Ocean Lakes (Va.) High School coach, Chris Scott, the Scout four-star prospect is handling his academic requirements before giving further thought to the recruiting process.

“He’s focusing on academics,” Scott told InsideTennessee. “He’s scheduled to take the SAT and ACT during the next two weekends, which kind of grounds him from visits by keeping him home. We’ve texted back and forth about SAT stuff as far as receiving transcripts go. He needed to take care of a few things test-wise before focusing on taking visits. There’s a lot of speculation out there, but that’s what our conversation has been through texting as of late.”

Although Scott did not confirm Lewis’ intention to visit Tennessee campus the final weekend before National Signing Day, he did acknowledge that the Vols remain a strong possibility for the current Arizona State commit.

“I think Coach Z is a class act,” Scott said of Tennessee wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who has recruited Lewis. “He’s done everything at the will and request of Jaason, his family and Ocean Lakes. It’s made Jaason aware of Tennessee as a possible destination and has been enough for him to always have an interest there. Also, having a player like Justin Hunter, who played for me as well, as an alum plays a positive factor.

“We have a familiarity with Knoxville, the fan base and the coaching staff. It’s huge that Justin is playing on Sundays now and went through Tennessee to get there. I think that would carry weight for any 15-18-year-old looking to accomplish a similar feat.”

Lewis rushed for 2,030 yards and 31 touchdowns on 216 carries, while also recording 18 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 247-pound U.S. Army All-American played both sides of the ball, spending time at a running back, wide receiver and several defensive positions. He ranks by Scout as the No. 110 player in the entire 2015 class.

“I think he has the ability to play offense or defense,” Scott said. “He could excel as a defensive end or outside linebacker and has the potential to be drafted at either position. Several teams are talking about bringing him in as an offensive athlete or H-back, but I think if he embraces the defensive side of the ball he could be drafted in three years.

TENNESSEE RUNNING BACK Jalen Hurd
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)

“However, I know his heart is in scoring touchdowns and I just don’t know how many running backs are that big and fast. Obviously, everyone at the next level is bigger and faster, but Jaason has a combination of size and speed that is elite.”

Lewis’ attributes draw comparisons to current Tennessee back Jalen Hurd, who led the Vols with 899 rushing yards as a true freshman in 2014.

“He kind of reminds me of Jalen Hurd,” Scott said. “Based on what I’ve seen from attending camps, Hurd has a great work ethic and I think he would be a great influence on Jaason. That combination of backs is not necessarily a ‘thunder and lightning’ duo but rather ‘thunder and lightning’ from whoever’s in at a given time. Both players can run the ball, break it and pound the defense.

“They look identical, at least in stature. If you put Jaason Lewis in an orange and white uniform and covered up any tattoos or birth marks that either of them have, you wouldn’t know until the helmet came off that he wasn’t Hurd.”

Ocean Lakes High finished ranked No. 24 in the Scout Top 50 poll after going 14-0 and the VHSL Class 6A state champions, beating Centreville 30-24 in the final.

Lewis was a teammate of arguably the top junior prospect in the state, four-star cornerback Levonta Taylor.


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