The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


September 19, 2012

Lewis to make announcement


TARBORO — One of the biggest decisions Tarboro Vikings defensive end and tight end Tyquan Lewis will make in his career will come Thursday at 4 p.m. when he decides on which college to carry his football talents to next season.

Lewis has narrowed down his choices to five schools which include Ohio State, UNC, LSU, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.

Lewis has been thinking over time about his decision and has come to a conclusion and decided he is ready to take the big step and announce his choice.

Lewis said the decision has been very difficult and has been a long path.

His mother, Tyronda Whitaker has been instrumental in helping her son make his choice, according to Lewis.

"My mom has stuck by me the entire way and we have worked it out and made the decision," Lewis said. "It has been difficult on trying to decide where I want to spend the next four years of my life at and where I think I will fit best in college."

The journey began last year for Lewis when he visited Clemson four times. He was sold on Clemson but they have fallen to bottom of Lewis' list.

His top five choices have offered him. Two of the schools Lewis has visited is, UNC five times and he has been to Ohio State twice. The first time Lewis went, he and Vikings head coach Jeff Craddock went to the school so Lewis could see what it was all about. When Lewis made the second trip, he and his mother took the trip.

Lewis has a big frame and stands 6 foot 3 inches tall and weights 225 pounds. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds and has timed out at 4.41 on the shuttle run. He has a 37 inch vertical leap which was listed as the best by defensive ends.

"Tyquan is a great football player and does things on both sides of the ball for us," Craddock said. "He takes the game seriously and has a lot of fun playing it. He has the ability to dominate both sides of the ball - he is a great blocking tight end and has a great set of hands and he is great defensively."

Lewis has been to nine combines during his high school career, but the most exciting one for him was when he went to "The Opening" in Beaverton, Ore. in July and was talked about throughout the event as one of the top speed pass rushers at the event.

The Opening is one of the biggest recruiting events in the country for the top high school football players from around the country.

There were three major components and events that the athletes did. The played 7-on-7, did challenges and worked on speed and agility drills to show what kind of speed they had.

"The Opening was fun during the four days I spent there and meeting all the NFL superstars," Lewis said. "It was a great experience for me and I enjoyed getting all the gear."

Lewis said he believes the combines have helped him with his recruiting process because the recruiting analyst put his name out there for college coaches to hear about and know exactly who and what he was about.

According to Lewis is ranked 11th in the state at the defensive end position and is listed as a four star athlete.

Now that Lewis still has over half of his high school senior year left, he is concentrating on hopefully another state championship. If Tarboro does win another title this year, he will be the only player for the Vikings to win four state championships.

"Tyquan has been a big piece to our puzzle during his career here at Tarboro," Craddock said. "It seems like he has been here a long time because he has been on all of our state championship teams."

Tyquan has been a big part of the Vikings success and has great work ethics according to Craddock.

Lewis has won three state championships since becoming a part of the Tarboro Viking football program. He made a name for himself during his sophomore season when he stepped up in a big way defensively and was at the WInston Salem Craver quarterback's feet almost every play. During his junior season, Lewis was instrumental in the Vikings victory in the championship game. He had his number called offensively and caught a pass in the middle of the field on a crucial third down situation to keep the Vikings alive.

Lewis' mom and the Vikings coaching staff have been the main influences in his high school career.

"My career at Tarboro has meant a lot to me and especially just staying on the right path," Lewis said. "My mom and Coach Craddock have been very instrumental in my career by doing their part and contributing. It has been a great experience."

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