Cornerback is one of the bigger needs for the Utes in the 2017 class, and the Utes are looking to address those needs with a talented mix of high school and junior college players. One of those JUCO players recently visited Utah for their game against Arizona. Tareke Lewis took some time to talk to UteZone about his experience in Salt Lake City.
“The city was great. The mountains seemed so close, and everybody in the city loves football,” Lewis said. “The program is great, the atmosphere at the game was crazy, the facilities were were nice, the coaches take a lot of pride in their job, and I really like how the team welcomed me like I was a player.”
Lewis is a talented corner from Riverside Community College, which is one of the better programs in Southern California, consistently producing D1 level talent. Since the season began, Lewis has seen his recruitment pick up, as he’s added offers from all over the country. Utah offered him while on his visit, adding to a list that includes Maryland, West Virginia, Oregon State, and Kansas State among others.
Utah is recruiting Lewis as a cornerback, who at 6-foot-1 inches and 175 pounds has the protypical size the Utes look for in their outside cornerbacks. Not only does Lewis possess the size necessary to compete on a Pac-12, but his skill set looks to be nice fit in Utah’s defensive schemes as well. “I fit in the scheme because they run man coverage a lot, and that’s what I do best," he said. “I can play zone too, but my man coverage is my strong suit. I also plan on coming in and returning kicks and punts too.”
Cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah is Lewis' main recruiter at Utah, and the two have hit it off in a short amount of time. “I can say our relationship is getting better every week,” he said. “He wants me to come in and play cornerback, but he always calls and check up on me to see how I’m doing and always asks about my family as well.”
According to Lewis, his trip to Utah opened his eyes to Coach Whittingham’s program and the Utes rank among his favorites. “Right now, it’s Utah and Maryland,” he said. “I want to feel at home, I want to go to a school where I’m going to play right away but have to compete. I don’t want anything to be given to me. And I want to graduate in sports management, so the academics are important too.”
With his official visit to Utah now in the rear view mirror, Lewis is planning to take some other visits in the near future. He will visit West Virginia on Dec. 2nd, and will visit Maryland shortly after that. A final decision is expected to come shortly after that.