Terrell Lewis of Ocoee now has seven college football scholarship offers, including Miami and LSU. (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Terrell Lewis had plenty to celebrate yesterday. The family was welcoming home a cousin from the Army on Thursday night, and to top that off, Lewis had also received a college football scholarship offer from national and SEC power LSU.
“It was unreal when the guy told me they wanted to offer me,” said Lewis, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound safety at Ocoee High. “I was like, ‘Whoa.’ … So now I’m really excited, even more excited for spring to start than I already was.
“Now I just have to go out and really show everybody what I can do and show people there is a lot more in Ocoee than just Division II athletes … We’re not just all average athletes over here.”
Lewis received the news of his offer from LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who had reached out, along with several other Tigers’ coaches via the regular mail last week.
“I had been getting a lot of mail from them for about two months, some of it handwritten stuff,” Lewis said. “But like Thursday of last week I got 10 or 12 more handwritten letters from different members of the coaching staff.”
The LSU offer gives Lewis four altogether. The No. 40-ranked player in the Sentinel’s 2014 Central Florida Super60, which will be updated April 1, now has offers from LSU, Georgia Tech, UConn and Troy.
Lewis is currently participating with the Ocoee weightlifting team under the supervision of head coach Dale Salappa and new Ocoee defensive coordinator Chip Petree, who came over from Winter Garden West Orange.
“Our new coach, Coach Petree, has been getting us going in the weight room and I’m doing pretty good in the cleans and pretty good on the bench, but I want to get better,” said Lewis, who is right at 255 on the clean-and-jerk and 285 on the bench press. “Hopefully I can break 335 on the bench by the time the season starts. That’s my goal, but it will take a lot of work in the summer.”
He said he’s a little surprised to have the offers he does so far, since spring practice is still a month away, and he wants to make sure he proves his worthiness to those schools that have shown confidence in his abilities.
“I’ve been looking at a lot of Central Florida athletes because I like to compare myself to see if I need to get better or if I am getting worse,” Lewis said. “I am kinda of surprised because there are a lot of good athletes in Central Florida and for the college coaches to see something in me that I’ve always seen in myself ... that means a lot.
“Now I just gotta prove that the offers aren’t just because I’m big, but that I have talent, as well. My coaches here have a lot of influence on me and it all starts with that.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.