Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins five-star wide receiver Joseph Lewis was a popular pick to end up going out of state for college last summer, but as with last football season, USC never gave up on finishing strong.
Live on ESPNU, Lewis and his teammate, four-star athlete Greg Johnson, both announced their commitments. Lewis chose USC over Nebraska, Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona and Oklahoma among others.
“I, Joseph Lewis, will be furthering my education at the University of Southern California,” said Lewis. “I chose USC because it was close to home and I felt like I could come in there and make an early impact.”
Lewis took several unofficial visits to USC before taking his third and final trip to USC last weekend. Throughout his recruitment, one key factor was ever present.
“I have built up a great relationship with Tee Martin,” said Lewis. “I like the coaches at USC and always feel comfortable there. I see how USC wants to use me and how I can fit into what they do.
“I like how they run their offense and stuff. They produce great wide outs and you want to be in an offense where you get those opportunities to be a playmaker.”
Early in the process, Lewis was very aware of the five wide receivers USC signed in the 2016 class. That was a factor he often noted when looking at other schools. However, with Juju Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers both leaving for the NFL this year, Lewis sees an opportunity to play as a true freshman at USC.
“I think I can do it,” said Lewis. “My goal is to play as a freshman and the coaches say I have a good chance to play. I have big shoes to fill, but I’m ready to get in and get to work right away.”
Lewis is rated the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation. Despite suffering a fractured ankle which put him in a thigh high cast from October to December, Lewis had 835 yards of total offense with seven touchdowns. He also had 61 tackles, two inceptions and two sacks on defense playing safety. This after a junior season where he has 51 receptions for 850 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.