Kansas was really one of the first schools to discover Taylor Lewis, who played behind an LSU signee in Jalen Mills and a Texas signee in Bryson Echols as a junior. Mills has already shown up on Saturdays as well, starting for the Tigers as a true freshman.
That meant that Lewis was a rare commodity: a way-under-the-radar prospect at one of the biggest programs in Texas high school football. And while I saw him play in 7-on-7 over the summer, this was my first time to get a chance to see him in full pads.
It didn't take long for Lewis to make an impact. With no receivers to his side, Lewis drifted to the middle of the field, watching the quarterback's eyes and sliding in front of a receiver for an interception. Lewis tacked a nice return on, and DeSoto went on to score a touchdown.
After a close first quarter, DeSoto rolled in the second, and Lewis was pretty much done by the second half. And I didn't get a chance to see him in bump-and-run coverage, which was disappointing in that, at 6-0 185, Lewis has the frame to play it.
He doesn't use a straight pedal, which is becoming more vogue now with Nick Saban teaching a shuffle step. The important thing is that Lewis shows the ability to turn and run, with some smoothness in his hips.
The other part that I liked was that Lewis wasn't afraid to throw his pads around. I hoped, with his size, he would project as a corner who could excel in run support, or show enough in that area that he could play safety if needed, and I wasn't disappointed. There wasn't any hesitation in his movement once he located the ball-carrier, and Lewis was quick to stick his nose in. Even beyond the tackling aspect, Lewis made himself hard to block, shedding blocks downfield to make a few tackles.
Lewis remains an intriguing part of the Kansas recruiting class, and while he's a developmental guy at this point, his ceiling is high. He's using his experience well … he didn't appear as raw as he was when I saw him earlier. He still has a ways to go, but you can't teach his size/speed combination, and his skill set offers hope that he could emerge as a legitimate top-line Big 12 cornerback.