November 4, 2008

Lewan picks up another offer; remains open

One of the biggest surprises of this recruiting class is Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral's Taylor Lewan. A year ago Lewan was a 16 year-old under-the-radar defensive tackle for Cave Creek (Ariz.) Cactus Shadows.

This spring, Lewan transferred to Chaparral and switched positions to left offensive tackle. After some strong summer camp performances he became one of the fastest rising prospects in the West.

Now, after an impressive start to his senior season Lewan, 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, now is a four-star prospect and member of the Rivals250. He is the third highest ranked player at any position from Arizona.

"Things are moving real fast right now," Lewan said. "All the attention is cool. It's awesome, I love it. It's good for Chaparral too. We now have two guys (defensive end Craig Roh) on the list and going to the Under-Armor game."

Entering the season Lewan had reported offers from Arizona State, Minnesota, Nevada and Utah State. [Monday] he said he picked up his sixteenth offer.

"My mom actually got a letter for me today from Colorado saying they were offering me," Lewan said. "I haven't actually talked to the coach yet about it. It is my sixteenth offer. I am still open. I need to talk to my dad and my coach before I decide anything."

Until recently, Lewan, who just turned 17 in July, had not been able to officially visit any school because he had not taken either the SAT or ACT.

"I just took the ACT two weeks ago," Lewan said. "I have not gotten my score back. My dad knows what it is though.

"I believe I am still going to visit Minnesota in a few weeks. I think I am but I am not sure. I need to talk to my dad about it. I definitely am going to be taking trips. I just need to the next two weeks to figure it all out.

"I really don't have any set visits. I am possibly going to visit Minnesota. I am not set on Oregon or Michigan. I need to figure it all out. I have not ruled anyone out."

Things have come full circle for Lewan has he and his teammates prepare for their final game of the season.

"We play Cactus Shadows," Lewan said. "It's the school I transferred in from. It's a big game for me personally."

Last Thursday Chaparral defeated Paradise Valley 28-20. It was a key victory for the Firebirds. Lewan's athletic ability helped to turn the game. In the fourth quarter, after a Paradise Valley safety, Lewan returned a squib kick for about 30 yards to the Paradise Valley 35 yard line. On the ensuing play Chaparral scored on a 35 yard run to take out for a 28-13 lead.

"[The return] was a dream comes true for a big guy," Lewan said. "It was a big win."

The win came at a bit of a cost however, as Lewan suffered a minor leg injury in the game.

"I hurt my calf," Lewan said. "I am fine now. If you see the film our running back Dwayne Garrett fell on it and it got all twisted up. It's fine now."

Chaparral is now 8-1 on the season, its only loss coming to rival Saguaro 21-0 on Oct. 17th. The match-up of undefeated teams was one of the biggest regular season high schools games in recent Arizona history. Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson and assistant Grady Stretz were among the reported 8,000 in attendance.

"I talked to Coach Stretz a few days later about the game," Lewan said. "He said that they thought I looked really good. I also talked to him before my game last Thursday. He is great guy. I like him a lot."

For the time being Lewan is keeping his options open on when he might end his recruitment.

"I really have no idea when I will decide," Lewan said. "I need to sit down with my dad and my coach and decide on some things."

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