Projecting the Future: LaTroy Lewis

LATROY LEWIS, 6-4, 225 DE AKRON, OHIO [ARCHBISHOP HOBAN HS]

Ratings: Rivals 3* No. 28 weakside defensive end, Scout 3* No. 58 defensive end, ESPN 4* No. 29 defensive end, 247 3* No. 36 weakside defensive end. Chose UT over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Illinois.

STRENGTHS: We really only have his junior film to go off of, but he appears to have an extremely quick first step, and he has very good speed for a defensive end ranging in the 4.7s or 4.8s. He has a very projectable frame that could easily hold 25-30 more pounds, if that means he won't lose any of his burst. He has great arm length that will help him shed blockers, and he is a very intelligent kid.

NEEDS WORK: Lewis will be coming off an injury as he broke a toe in the second game of the season, ending his high school career. Still, it doesn't appear to be an injury that will have any effect on his Tennessee career. Lewis is likely a guy who needs at least a year in the college weight room anyway as he is a bit lanky and not as strong as he needs to be to compete in the SEC. Like a lot of star prep players, he is reported to take plays off and needs to be more consistent.

CREDENTIALS: He is a consensus top 25 in the state of Ohio, and as a sophomore, he finished with 70 tackles, 13 TFLs, eight sacks and an interception. As a junior he had 96 tackles, nine sacks. His stats this season were not known because of the injury.

OPTIMISTIC CEILING: Lewis reminds me a lot of Willie Bohannon, though he could have a better career with a hard work ethic and if he stays in one defensive program for longer than WillieBo. Lewis needs two years in a weight program to be successful in the SEC, in my opinion, and he looks along the same mold as Jordan Williams from last year's class. Lewis is probably a bit more lanky than Williams, though, but he has a bit more burst to the quarterback as well. Lewis looks to have good ball instincts, and though he was recruited by Peter Sirmon, if he sticks with UT, he'll play some before his career is over. I don't know if I see him as a starter, though, and if we transition to the 3-4 as the reports indicate, he may not fit as well and could possibly look around.

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