USC Nike camp update - Whitney Lewis

Whitney Lewis is a 6-0.5, 209-pound Ventura (Calif.) Saint Bonaventure and a former teammate of Forida State-bound Lorenzo Booker. To say that Lewis and Booker still remain competitive to this day is an understatement, and with 'Book' watching, Lewis tore up the USC Nike camp to earn MVP honors.

"When we are in competition, it'll be boom-boom or it'll be a tie. It's great. He had 32 offers and I only have 27 right now so I'm trying to work that much harder to get more than what he had. It's always competition between me and him."

But Whitney admits that Lorenzo would get him at the line if a 40 was run today between them. "'Book'," Lewis said without hesitation. "You can ask him."

That doesn't mean Whitney can't get down the line in a hurry. He ran a fantastic 4.34 40, a 4.13 shuttle, jumped 34 inches and did 22 reps of 185 pounds on the bench. Those numbers get you D1 offers, but Lewis isn't satisfied with his efforts.

"This was a great camp to be with the best of the best," he said. "I wasn't too happy with my numbers. I always feel like I can do better, but I had a great time. It was fun out here."

This wasn't Whitney's first taste of camp life, having already competed in the 2001 camp at San Diego State University. "Last year was more about having fun because I was younger but when it's your junior year it's on the line so you have to put up numbers to show the scouts," Lewis said. "You just have to work on what you've got to do and progress or you don't get anything done and you stay the same."

Last year also gave Lewis an opportunity to watch Booker make his mark. Now he knows 2002 is his turn to turn heads. "It's great," he said. "I didn't mind hiding behind Lorenzo's shadow. I thought it was pretty cool. It was like, 'Wow! Where did that player come from? He's real good. It's time for me to blossom and come out and play. I'm ready for the challenge. It's going to be great."

So what makes Whitney so tough on the gridiron? "It's a combination of size, speed and quickness," he said. "I see myself as basically Terrell Owens and a little bit of Peter Warrick. It's size and speed and quickness and ability. My best thing is getting off the ball and my route running and catching the ball when it's at it's highest point."

His reaction to his Nike camp numbers are a true reflection of an athlete who knows enough to know he hasn't begun to scratch the surface of his talent. When asked what he needs to work on this year, his answer is stunningly simple.

"Everything," Whitney said. "There's nothing I feel that I'm really good at yet. I hear compliments all the time, but that's not really a big thing to me. There's always something I can do to get better or be better."

And it's all done to satisfy Lewis' unquenchable thirst for victory. "To win, that's everything," he said. "I listen to this song by Jay-Z and at the end it says 'I will not lose,' and it's just something I play before every game. It's just something that can't happen."

Saint Bonaventure is a small catholic school in Ventura, and sometimes the Seraphs get knocked because of the competition they face. Well, that's going to change this year as they move up to CIF Division 4 and Lewis couldn't be happier. He wants to take on any comers.

"We've been in Division 11 and people have always talked about that and now we are moving up to Division 4 so we are going to come out and show 'em what we've got," Whitney said.

The move up in competition will bring more people out to see the Bonnies, but it's not like Lewis needs the attention. "I had 27 offers early, but right now it's Florida State, Miami, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia...a lot of teams," he said when asked about cutting his list down. "I don't know where to go right now." All of his favorites have offered.

Whitney has interest in the Huskies. "I've talked to Coach Neuheisel before and he's a real good coach," he said. "He's a fun coach. And Book told me it was a great trip when he went there, so I'm going to take a trip there and see how it is." Top Stories