In the past three days the Texas A&M coaching staff hit the rare Louisiana trifecta, landing three Bayou state prospects in a 72 hour period. The Aggies occasionally dipped into the neighboring state to the east to grab a prospect or two in recent years, but nothing like this. The first domino to fall was highly regarded offensive lineman Patrick Lewis, and he recently spoke with the Aggie Websider about his verbal pledge.
"I first talked to Coach Wyatt and Coach Turner, and they were excited about me committing and the whole offensive line class," Lewis said. "Then I talked to Coach Sherman and he said they were talking about me in their coaches meeting that morning saying that I'm someone who can come in and play as a freshman. I may not start, but he thinks I can contribute."
The praise doesn't stop there for the 6-foot-1, 295-pound interior offensive lineman. In a recent article in the Times Picayune, Lewis' head coach at East St. John was quoted saying that his star pupil is the best offensive lineman he has coached in his 39 years in the profession, and that it's not even close. Asked why his coach thinks so highly of him, Lewis said it's just a matter of doing your job.
"I do what he tells me to do. If he wants me to do it, I know it's for the best," Lewis said. "I think he likes the way I play with my heart and I always play as hard as I can. That's it I guess."
His play has caught the attention of local fans, coaches, and media over the years as Lewis is a two-time first team all-state lineman, and he's looking to make it three years in a row in 2008 which is a rare feat by any standard. The Louisiana product wasn't always an accomplished offensive lineman. In fact, he started out on the defensive side of the ball.
"I was 15 and playing defensive line and my coach moved me to offensive line. I didn't like it at all, but after a while I realized he moved me for a reason and I accepted it," Lewis said. "My coach really pushed me every day to learn the position and get better. It's paid off and I'm happy to be where I am."
With all the accolades and high praise from his coaches, recruiting fans are wondering why more national programs haven't offered Lewis, who also brought home top performance awards at the LSU Nike Combine and the Under Armor Combine in Dallas earlier this spring. It appears to be one thing, and one thing only – his height. He doesn't have the prototypical 6-foot-4/6-foot-5 frame that any national programs require. However, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, and Connecticut all offered him a scholarship because he can block.
"It's not that big of a deal to me. I had offers from several good schools and I couldn't go wrong with my choice," Lewis said. "I hope to prove to everybody that height doesn't matter."
In the end, Lewis chose the Aggies and he discussed the reasons behind taking his skills across the border to Texas.
"I just like that environment at A&M. It felt like I had been there a long time. It felt like home," Lewis said. "It's a family-oriented place and they are very supportive with a lot of tradition. I prayed on it, and then Friday morning when I woke up, it felt like the right time and A&M was the school."
Lewis says he's 100% solid on his commitment and he is now focused on preparing for a run at a state championship. Without a bye week this season, Lewis indicated that it will be tough to make the six hour drive to College Station for a game, but hopes to find the opportunity to experience the home game atmosphere and the 12th Man.
Lewis discusses commitment
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