In recruiting, projection and potential are extremely important to coaching staffs. Of course everyone wants to sign five stars that are not only great athletes, but also fairly polished football players. The reality is that almost every football recruit isn’t close to what they will be by the time they leave college football.
Marcus Lewis is a classic case where projection is everything. The Gonzaga High corner has physical attributes that college coaches want to work with, but it remains to be seen whether those attributes will translate into him being a great football player at the next level.
There is a lot to like about Lewis from a physical standpoint. He has the combination of size, length, and speed that coaches covet in a cornerback who can matchup against the big time receivers.
There is alway a point when a player realizes he can be a very good football player. For Lewis, it was about four games into his junior season when he returned a kick for a touchdown and you could see his level of play drastically get better after that.
He continued to make plays on special teams as a returner and by blocking a kick. He started producing big plays on offense where he really flashed his speed.
As a cornerback, he was much more aggressive and effective supporting the run. He went from merely being involved in the tackle in earlier games to laying the wood when he got the opportunity. I saw him also intercept the ball as well. It was obvious that Lewis had the ability to be a very good football player.
To be honest though, there just wasn’t enough of seeing him in coverage for me to say that he is one of the top cornerbacks in this recruiting class. He looked high in his backpedal at times, but I can’t really focus in on that because I didn’t see him covering receivers enough to critique it heavily. I also saw him close in and make a couple of plays on the ball, but again, it’s not enough to make anything close to a definitive evaluation on him as a cornerback.
Maybe he locked receivers down and they never threw the ball his way? I don’t know the answer to that. He is definitely someone you’d like to see in a camp setting covering one on one to see where he is currently at as a coverage player.
If I project him to be the big corner everyone is in search of, then I would play him on the boundary where he can help versus the run as well as cover.
If we’re talking height/weight/speed, Lewis is potentially a great defensive back. Coaches will believe that they can coach him up to be that big shutdown corner and if not, he can maybe play safety or even be a receiver. In a perfect world, a player like Lewis would have to wait on some of the major scholarship offers he has received so far because teams would want to know if he is more of a sure thing. But in the college football world we currently live in, teams have to offer him based on the projection of what he can possibly become and hope he develops into the corner they have always wanted.
Rivals #8 CB (4 star)
Scout #23 CB (4 star)
247 Sports #16 ATH (4 star)
ESPN Unranked (3 star)
Jamie Uyeyama was a defensive lineman at Idaho State University and Simon Fraser University. He has also coached at the college and high school level. He is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.