The town of Haltom City, Texas., a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, is seeing many a college recruiter beating a path along it's streets these days. Over 85 schools have come through the doors in just the last month. The influx doesn't figure to stop anytime soon with one of the premier linebackers in the nation lining up for the Buffaloes of Haltom High this year.
Including the offer from Washington State, Anthony Lewis already holds an astounding 24 offers, including ones from Oklahoma, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Purdue, Georgia Tech, New Mexico and Wisconsin. The 6-2.5, 220-pound tackling machine has also made his way out to a few schools for unofficial visits.
"So far, I've been to A&M, Oklahoma and OSU," said the soft spoken Lewis. "They went well."
A little over a month from now, he'll venture northward to get the lay of the land on a school that's been making themselves well known to followers of Texas football ever since the '03 Holiday Bowl victory over UT capped its third straight 10-win season and Top Ten final ranking.
"I'm going to Washington State's summer camp," Lewis told Cougfan.com. Previously, he'd named a Top 5 for Scout.com -- which included WSU -- but upon further reflection, Lewis wants to learn more about the schools and coaching staffs before talking about any leaders.
"I did, but I'm just open now," Lewis said. "I need to visit more colleges right now and see what I'm looking at."
Hence the visit to Pullman.
"I don't know as much about them," said Lewis of Washington State. "So that's why I'm going up there -- to see about the program. Basically, I want to feel comfortable where I'm at, so I'm looking for a comfortable environment."
Lewis previously told CF.C his criteria will mostly focus on three things: a program with a reputation for playing solid defense, a program that possesses a strong family environment and one that graduates its players. Distance will not be a factor.
IN 2004, first year Haltom coach Kenny Perry immediately moved Lewis to defense -- and he took to the linebacker position as if born to it.
A first team all-district selection at 'backer, he racked up 110 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 INTs. Perry also said off the field, Lewis shines just as brightly, with a very good head on his shoulders and down to earth demeanor. Academically, Lewis has already obtained a qualifying SAT score.
Belying the soft-spoken manner, Lewis is the most intense football player Perry has ever seen. He possesses an unreal motor, tremendous hitting ability and closing speed that makes him play even faster than his 4.6 speed in the 40 suggests.
Recruiters' jaws' have been dropping all recruiting season upon viewing his tape.
"When you see this kid on film, it's just ridiculous," Perry told CF.C back in February. "You're almost asking, 'Does he really do this all the time?' and the answer is: Yes, he does."
WITH SPRING BALL currently hitting full stride at Haltom, Lewis is busy honing his craft, preparing for the '05 campaign.
"He's done a good job," said Perry. "He loves the physical part of it. We're trying to get his pass drops better -- he's great against the run -- we're just trying to get him to be more of the (complete linebacker)."
"Spring is going really good. We're going to have a pretty good team. If we just keep doing what we're doing, we're going to be alright."
As will Anthony Lewis.