Coaches Still Calling

It's late in the game for 2009, but that doesn't stop many coaches from trying to pry blue chip athletes away from their committed schools. Offensive lineman Patrick Lewis is finding this out the hard way, as many coaches are attempting to lure him away from Aggieland. Websider takes a look at how he is handling the situation.

East St. John High School (La.) offensive lineman Patrick Lewis committed to play his collegiate career last summer when he pledged to Texas A&M, and ever since he has made it very clear to other coaches who call him that he's solid to the Aggies. Still, that doesn't stop recruiters from contacting the 6-foot-2, 290-pound interior lineman.

"I still get a few calls and the coaches ask if they can recruit me," Lewis said. "I tell them that's fine that I'll talk to them, but I let them know up-front that I'm signing with Texas A&M. I'm an Aggie."

A recent coaching shakeup has a SEC team entering the recruiting process for Lewis. Last summer, Tulsa's Gus Malzahn developed a relationship with the talented lineman and the Golden Hurricanes were a serious player in his recruiting until Lewis selected the Aggies. New Auburn head coach Gene Chizik tabbed Malzahn as his offensive coordinator, so now Malzahn is making another run at the Louisiana native.

"Auburn has started recruiting me pretty hard. Coach Malzahn recruited me at Tulsa and he said he wants to recruit me for Auburn. He says I'm the best offensive lineman he's seen in the country and he wants to stay on me until Signing Day," Lewis said. "I said that was fine, but that I'm signing with Texas A&M on February 4."

Lewis clarified that it would take extraordinary circumstances on A&M's part to consider a switch from the Aggies, something he doesn't anticipate.

"If something crazy were to happen on their end, but that's the only thing that would make me reconsider," Lewis said. "I've been talking to the A&M staff and they've been visiting me. Everything is great. I'm just ready for February 4."

Lewis has been talking a lot with head coach Mike Sherman and offensive line coach Jim Turner about his future at Texas A&M and where he'll be playing on the offensive line. He played all five line positions during his high school career, but due to his height he'll likely play one of the interior spots in college.

"They see me as a guard or a center," Lewis said. "They think I'm ready to contribute as a freshman and they think I can get on the field quicker at center. That's fine with me. I'll do anything they ask me to do to help the team and get on the field early. I can't wait for June 10 when I move down there."

Lewis is also looking forward to seeing his teammates and fellow 2009 recruiting classmates. Since his official visit in December, the Louisiana product has stayed in constant contact with his future teammates.

"Coach Sherman mailed everybody's phone number and e-mail to everybody in the class and wants us to be close when we come to school," Lewis said. "I talk to a lot of the guys, especially Jonathan Stewart and Spencer Nealy. I either give them a call or I talk to them on Facebook."

Lewis is already preparing for next season. In addition to running track, the lineman will be working out to improve his quickness and conditioning prior to moving to College Station.

"I'm doing some track and I'm also working out on the side," Lewis said. "I'm focusing mostly on improving my quickness and developing my lower body. I've been working on my hip flexibility."

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