May 21, 2008

Four-star lineman flying under the radar

Perhaps one of the most underappreciated offensive players in the entire Southeast is LaPlace (La.) East St. John offensive lineman Patrick Lewis. The 6-foot-1, 300-pounder heads into his senior season as a two-time 5A all-state selection and he heads into the summer following a dominating MVP performance at the NIKE Football Training Camp at LSU.

Recently, Lewis completed his Spring Practice with his East St. John's team.

"We finished up Spring Ball last week," Lewis said. "It went well. We scrimmaged South Plaquemine. We beat them 28-14 but the score probably would have been stretched a little further if we didn't have some penalties and we had a dropped pass."

Despite a strong Spring, Lewis sees plenty of room for improvement in his game.

"I was alright with [my performance]," he said. "Me myself, I'm never satisfied. I have a lot to work on. Coming from track I wasn't really in football shape. Now I'm working in the summer with the track team running."

What are the things that he could still use some perfecting?

"Probably I would have to say keeping my hands inside and staying with my low base and flat back, simple stuff, small stuff, just perfecting my steps."

Throughout the Spring, Lewis saw several coaches take in practice and included in the procession were representatives from Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, LSU, Mississippi State and many others.

A few programs have been in contact much more heavily than just a visit to school.

"I've been keeping in touch a lot with Tulsa and Louisiana Tech," he said. "I have offers from South Alabama and Louisiana Tech and I believe when I go on my unofficial visit to Tulsa they're going to offer. I'm going there the 12th and 13th of June.

"Right now I'm just keeping all of my options open and looking for the right school to come along as far as education, where I'll fit the best and where they don't mind a 6-1 offensive lineman."

Lewis' height becomes much less of a concern when he is seen pancaking defenders 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His work in pads and in camp settings speaks for itself. However, Lewis doesn't anticipate spending a big chunk of his summer on the camp circuit. He has other priorities.

"I don't plan on hitting the camp circuit real hard because I want to stay with the team and work on my leadership skills," he said. "I want to be with my team all summer and try to build for a state championship."

One of the few campuses he does have firm plans to visit is Tulsa and the Golden Hurricane interest in him has sparked him to gain some interest as well.

"I've done some research on them," he said. "They're real good academically. They're starting to build a real good program. They've updated their facilities. They've got a good program building. The offense they run is tremendous. They run it almost to perfection. The led the NCAA in offense. I just want to go up there and see what comes of it."

Though he hasn't scheduled dates yet, Lewis does hope to get to Louisiana Tech and South Alabama along with his Tulsa visit.


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