The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 15, 2013

Tyquan Lewis garners another defensive award


TARBORO — Former Tarboro Viking defensive end and Ohio State Buckeye Tyquan Lewis was selected to the first team defense by Friday. Lewis was the only player from North Carolina selected to the defensive team.

Lewis has received numerous awards during his career at Tarboro. He was the state championship Defensive Player of the Game and was the Vikings Defensive MVP during their annual awards banquet last Saturday. Lewis also earned a spot on the All-State team where he received more votes then anyone on the defensive side of the ball.

Lewis graduated from Tarboro early as a senior and enrolled and began classes last Monday at Ohio State. He chose the Buckeye nation during his press conference in September.

Lewis said that was the school that fit him the best after he and his mother, Tyronda Whitaker sat down and discussed all of his choices. Lewis chose Ohio State over UNC, LSU and others.

Lewis made a name for himself during his sophomore season when he was a terror on the opposing teams offensive players. He led the Vikings with sacks for three consecutive years. During the Vikings state championship game in 2010, Lewis was dominating on the defensive side of the ball. He was at the quarterbacks feet on almost every other play.

Lewis came around during the playoffs this season for Tarboro. He had at least two sacks in every playoff game. Teams knew what type of skills he had and wouldn't run the ball towards Lewis' side of the field, because they knew how big and strong he was.

The 6-foot-3 225 pound Lewis is listed as the 11th best player in the state according to several recruiting websites and has one of the fastest times as a defensive end in the 40-yard dash. He went to numerous combines during his career and made a name for himself. He went to "The Opening" in Beaverton, Ore. and shined last summer. He said he really enjoyed that combine.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Lewis is one of the fastest defensive ends he has ever seen come off of the edge to get into the backfield. The others that played like Lewis went on to become top draft picks in the NFL.

"I am excited about being able to play for coach Meyer," Lewis said. "Coach Meyer's number one goal for me is just coming in and being ready to go. He and I know I have big shoes to fill so I have to be ready."

Lewis is looking forward to making a name for himself at Ohio State and in the college ranks. He wants to work as hard as possible so he can earn as much playing time as possible during his freshman season.

Lewis said he was excited about heading to college to make that next step in life to go on to become hopefully, an NFL player someday.

"I am very excited about my next step in life," Lewis said. "I am purpose driven and want to accomplish my next goal in life and that is playing in college."

Lewis said his career at Tarboro meant a lot to him, because he grew up as a player and learned so much about the game of football.

"I learned so much and especially about being a role model," Lewis said. "So many things have happened over the years that have led to success for me. I am blessed to have been a part of this program."

He has a personal goal set to graduate from Ohio State in three years.