April 30, 2009

NY prospect hits the road

Rochester (NY) Bishop Kearney tight end Jerome Lewis was supposed to attend the Syracuse junior day right after he was offered, but he was not able to make the trip. A little over a month has passed since Lewis received his Orange offer and he finally had a chance to make a trip to Syracuse.

"The visit was really good I liked what I saw. It was really good to see them in action and everything. I have been to the Carrier Dome before, but I never really had a chance to see the outside. We would would just get shipped into the locker room and shipped into the game."

Lewis, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds has made visits to other schools since the recruiting process, so the Empire State product has seen a lot. At Syracuse his interaction with the Orange coaches really stuck out on his visit.

"I really liked how the coaches would talk to me and really try to communicate with me. They told me that in the State of New York I am their top guy and that I am the guy they are going for. That was nice to know how much confidence they are putting in me."

The coaches stuck out on the trip for Lewis, but what was his favorite part of the trip?

"I liked every part of it actually I just loved every part of it," Lewis said. "I love what they do with the tight end and I love how they are aggressive. They are really trying to turn the program around and you can see how they play and how they go 100 miles an hour all the time."

Being from Rochester Lewis knows the Collier family and seeing Averin Collier get a chance to play during the spring game was exciting for the tight end prospect. However, it was not just watching Collier play that caught his eye, but how he has matured over the past year.

"The spring game was really good I got a chance to see what kind of athletes they had up there and the kind of talent they have. They do have Averin Collier up there from Rochester. I knew Kevin [Averin's brother and Pittsburgh running back] and Averin when I was younger and it was nice to get a chance to see Averin play. Seeing how big and strong they have him and how mature they have him is a nice sign. That really opened my eyes to them because they take it serious."

Not only does the player development angle have Lewis thinking Syracuse takes football serious, but one other part of his visit was like that as well.

"One thing that I noticed about Coach Marrone and Coach Casullo when they were talking to me I could see in their eyes that they were very interested in me. That is a thing I loved and that is where I feel like they are going to put in 100 percent. Whatever school is putting in 100 percent at the end of the day that might be where I go."

While talking with Marrone and Casullo they let Lewis know their plans for recruiting him and how they are going about recruiting this year.

"Meeting them they pretty much just told me what they want me to do and how they feel about me. They are just not recruiting me because I am being recruited by other schools. They actually told me why they were recruiting me. They told me that they were trying to take back New York," Lewis stated.
"Coach Marrone told me that they are going to start working from the inside out and that I was there top guy this year. It is just crazy and I love that and that they are putting that much on me. With me when pressure is put on me I love it."

Are there any plans to make a return trip back to the Big East school?

"I think I am going to go back for an unofficial just to see around the campus. I will probably call and set something up with the coaches. Syracuse is so close, I can probably drive my own car there on Friday night and spend the weekend. That is what I like about Syracuse it was so close and everything. I am definitely going to try and get there at least two more times."

Right now it is still early to name a top five for Lewis, but there are a couple schools sticking out at this point.

"Right now everybody is on a level playing field. Except for Pittsburgh, everybody knows that they are a little higher right now and every coach understands that. Syracuse, I could probably go count 60-80 letters from Syracuse, just hand written letters from the coaches. That is something that I love to see because that means they are taking time out of their day to talk to me. It is not like the computer generated letters where they just switch the names, these are actual handwritten in pen with their signature at the bottom."

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