Lewis enjoys trip to Aggieland

He didn't get many offers early on because of his height, but now Louisiana offensive lineman Patrick Lewis is turning heads at combines, earning him more attention from major programs and an offer from Texas A&M. Aggie Websider visits with the lineman about his trip to College Station.

When the new coaching staff at Texas A&M looked at the talent they inherited from Dennis Franchione, one major area of concern was the offensive line. After all, all five members of the starting unit that played together for the past 2-3 years either graduated or left the team. Thus, it comes as no surprise that job No. 1 in recruiting for the class of 2009 is to secure talented offensive linemen.

A&M has been successful so far in that pursuit, nabbing four of the top prospects in the state of Texas. However, it appears they may have room for one more, and on Friday they hosted a fast rising player from Louisiana that fits the bill, offensive guard Patrick Lewis from East Saint John High School in Reserve.

"The visit went well. It was excellent," Lewis said. "I liked what they had to offer."

The 6-foot-2, 295 pound guard originally didn't receive a lot of attention from college recruiters because of his height, but that all changed with some impressive performances at several prestigious spring combines against some of the nation's top talent.

"I thought I did pretty good at those combines. I held my own there. I started hearing from more schools afterward," Lewis said. "I feel I'm strong at drive blocking and finishing blocks. I put a lot of intensity and effort on the field, and it pays off."

Lewis understands that in this game you always have to get better, especially someone who wants to take it to the next level, both at the college level and then at the pros.

"You always have to work on every part of your game if you want to it to the next level," Lewis said. "I'm focusing on improving my technique all the time."

It is that desire to improve and succeed that impressed Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman and one of the reasons why Lewis has received an offer from the Aggies. Likewise, Lewis connected with Sherman about his approach to coaching, something that was discussed on his visit on Friday.

"He told it like it was. He's a straight forward man and I like that," Lewis said. "He said if I choose A&M, he's going to push me hard to always get better. He knows what it takes to play in the pros, and he said if I put the hard work in every day that I have a shot at the NFL."

Lewis also spent a lot of time with offensive line coach Jim Turner, who made it clear what he thought of the Louisiana lineman.

"He really wants me to come there. He says they are building the foundation for a national championship and I would be a significant part of that foundation," Lewis said. "He says they are bringing in five new linemen, and they already have four committed."

Lewis also met some of the players, and had a chance to sit down with incoming freshman lineman Leroy Chevalier who's already on-campus working out at the Bright Football Complex.

"He told me he wasn't going to try to get me to commit, that he was just going to tell me how it is," Lewis said. "He said that there are a lot of people around who are there to help, but that they will push you. He said it isn't easy with this staff, but there's a lot of support and people want you to be successful."

In addition, Lewis was impressed with the facilities, especially with the football complex. However, it was the interaction with the coaches, staff, and players that impressed him the most.

"I like how the football team has everything you need right there in one place. You can study there, eat, play games, and workout," Lewis said. "But what impressed me the most was the people. They were all straight forward and honest with me. Going around the community you could feel that students and alumni are close and support the university. They have great traditions. It's a great college town that supports its school."

Lewis' experience was enough to push the Aggies to the top of his list along with Tulsa, whom he visited the previous week. However, he indicated that he has no immediate plans to make a commitment, and wants to be sure of his decision before he pledges to a school.

"I'm a man of my word, so if I commit, I want to be 100 percent certain," Lewis said. "I like Texas A&M and Tulsa a lot, but I think I still want to go through the process to make sure where I want to go. Now, if I wake up one morning and I feel I'm ready to commit, I'll do it. Right now, I don't think I'm there yet."

With his unofficial visit to A&M out of the way, Lewis doesn't have any additional plans to visit schools this summer. Instead, he plans to focus on his offseason workouts and will start to do some research on the schools showing him the most interest. Other schools that have made contact include Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama, and LSU among others.

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