At about the same time news was breaking of his Damon Cogdell's move from Miramar High School to West Virginia, one of his players announced his intention to join the football class of 2105. Khalil Lewis, who will be a senior this fall, hopes to follow the path, and duplicate the success, of fellow Patriots such as Stedman Bailey and Geno Smith, who played for Cogdell before moving on to WVU and the NFL.
WHAT TO LIKE: Lewis comes from a spread offense background -- one that produced a number of collegiate stars. While that doesn't automatically make him a college player, it does give him the background familiarity to help ease the transition to college.
Lewis isn't the darting, undersized slot receiver type, however. He makes good starts off the line of scrimmage, and uses his strength to shield defenders from the ball on short routes. He's not a top end, high speed burner, but his highlight tape shows plenty of instances in which he gets by defenders with a good release and smooth stride. He plays with a physical edge, and often sheds tacklers by creating the first hit and running through contact, and is very dangerous running with the ball after the catch.
In short, he's suited to spread attacks, and can catch the ball on a variety of routes. Another plus - he alos plays basketball for Miramar, and his videos there show good timing and excellent hand-eye coordination.
POSSIBLE CONCERNS: It would be easy to view Lewis' commitment as one where he is just following his high school coach on to college, much like an AAU basketballer.
On the field, Lewis wasn't subjected to much press coverage in his available video, so there will be some questions about his abilities there until he shows he can get off the line in college. That was an issue that derailed the career of former Mountaineer Ivan McCartney. However, Lewis has much more strength and size at this stage of his career, so he does have the tools to combat such tactics.
Like many high school receivers, Lewis is able to defeat his foes with his physical skills. He'll have to be more technically refined in college, but again, he shows flashes of those abilities. Using his jumping ability, he highpoints several balls on tape, but will have to work to be more consistent in catching the ball with his hands cleanly.
OVERALL ANALYSIS: Lewis, who caught 34 passes for 458 yards and eight scores as a junior, couldn't be much more suited to the West Virginia attack. The question that remains -- will he turn out more like Bailey, or more like McCartney? That's the great unknown in the recruiting game. However, with his physical traits, and his ability to play with toughness, he may be a bit more suited to make the jump than those that depend on just speed alone. While its far too early to predict immediate impact in college, it's clear that the talents to put him as an outside receiver are already in place.