Malachi Lewis: 30 Offers and Wide Open

Malachi Lewis is 6-3 and about 200 pounds and rushed for 2,200 yards as a junior at Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa. Whether the big, talented athlete is a running back on the next level is uncertain, but 30 college programs are pretty sold on his abilities, having offered him a scholarship...

The scholarship offers continue to pour in for Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa running back/athlete Malachi Lewis (6-3, 200), and the four-star prospect is taking everything in, with no imminent plans to begin paring down his list.

"I've got like 30 offers so far," said Lewis. "I don't even have a favorite or a top schools list. At this point, everyone is in the ballgame."

That includes the two local schools, USC and UCLA. Neither has officially offered Lewis, but he's keeping them on his list in the chance they do this fall.

"USC hasn't offered but they keep telling me, when I'm ready to be a Trojan, to let them know. Coach (Steve) Sarkisian is recruiting me there."

UCLA has told Lewis they could be offering him since June. "UCLA said they were offering me, but I haven't gotten the letter just yet. Coach (Jim) Svoboda is recruiting me. They like me as an athlete," said Lewis.

Georgia was the most recent school to offer Lewis, with running backs coach Tony Ball offering Lewis the same day that the Georgia staff watched his film. Lewis has just recently sent off his highlight tape to Florida State and Virginia Tech, while Notre Dame has been gauging its interest. Lewis said, "(Notre Dame assistant) Coach (Brian) Polian said for me to let them know if we need to start speeding things up," said Lewis. "I'm really looking all over the country. I'm open to going anywhere. I just want to find the best situation for myself."

Lewis combines size, at about 6-3, with good speed. He clocked a 4.35 40 at the Ventura Combine, and a 4.68 at the Combine in San Antonio. Some feel that Lewis would fare better as a receiver in college or even play on the defensive side of the ball, whether as a safety or a linebacker. And Lewis is keeping all of his options open, position-wise. "I'm open to any position but I prefer running back because that's what I'm best at," said Lewis. "I play defensive back for my school so I'm out there sometimes and I guard the receiver. I can play defensive back or linebacker."

In case he does move out to receiver, he's been working out with former NFL receiver Chris Thomas and former NFL quarterback Bob Gagliano to work on the finer points of pass-catching. "I've been working out with Chris and he's just helping me out with my hands and my route-running and giving me a lot of tips," said Lewis.

Lewis said he would likely take all five official trips before making a decision. "I'm waiting till the middle or the end of the season to start setting up my trips," said Lewis. "I plan to decide after all five trips, unless I see something before."

This summer, Lewis camped at the B2G Elite Football Program with a pair of other SoCal standout running backs, Marc Tyler and Raymond Carter, and held his own. He also attended the Rising Seniors camp at USC.

An all-CIF selection in 2005, Lewis rushed for over 2,200 yards on 306 attempts and scored 24 touchdowns. He also had 12 receptions for 111 yards and added 15 tackles and an interception on defense.

Academically, he has a 3.5 GPA, and he took the SAT earlier this spring.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories