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Lewis waits, decides on Pearl River CC

While his teammates were faxing their letters of intent to their respective schools on Wednesday, Vincent Lewis had to sit and watch in support.

Friday was his day as the Lafayette linebacker signed with Pearl River Community College. Lewis chose to spend the next two years in Poplarville after spending an extra couple days deciding between Pearl River and Coahoma Community College.

It was a recruitment process that did not involve a lengthy courtship between school and player. Lewis has not even met the Wildcats’ coaching staff in person, only via phone calls with linebackers coach Tim Hatten.

“I just felt (Pearl River) was a good place for me to be, so I just sent my film down there,” Lewis said. “He said he really enjoyed it and that’s when they started offering me and started talking to (Lafayette coach Eric Robertson).”

Lewis was the Commodores’ leading sack machine by a wide margin, tackling the quarterback 15 times last season. That is 11 more than Keontre Toles’ second-best number of four. He was also second on the Lafayette defense with 96 tackles, finishing behind Quin Jones’ total of 111.

The 6-foot, 225-pounder was one who Robertson thinks was overlooked by other schools during the recruiting process and Pearl River got a steal.

“I think Vincent is a kid that stands out on film,” Robertson said. “I think they saw how explosive he was. His first step is really fast. … He was arguably our best player on defense. You take him with a Quin Jones and Keontre Toles. I definitely think Pearl River got a really good football player.”

The uniqueness of Lewis’ recruitment continued as he put pen to paper without even setting foot on Pearl River’s campus but plans to rectify that soon before he moves down for good in the summer after graduation.

“I really wanted to play at the next level,” Lewis said. “I can always come back and visit on the weekends. Distance wasn’t a problem as long I can do what I love to do. That’s what I love to do, play football.”

Joining the ranks

After having zero seniors sign with a college on any level last season and having former center Austin Arrington as a preferred walk-on at Central Arkansas, it is a complete turnaround from a year ago.

Lewis made it nine Commodores that signed with a two- or four-year school, joining a strong senior class that includes Eli Johnson, Tyrell Price and Rashaun Rockette among others.

It was a testament to what Lewis and the rest of the seniors decided to accomplish before the season started.

“I think we just showed our talent on the field and working hard in the summer,” Lewis said. “We knew we had to do something. Because last year, we didn’t have any seniors sign, so we had to make a big impact. Just put Lafayette back on course.”