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SWE's Lewis to compete as punter, receiver at Barton College

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SouthWest Edgecombe's Jayden Lewis punts during a game this past season. Lewis committed on Tuesday to play football at Barton College, where he will play punter and receiver.

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By PATRICK MASON
Sports Writer

Thursday, March 28, 2019

When SouthWest Edgecombe football fans think of Jayden Lewis, they might have memories of his 1,247 passing yards and 18 touchdowns as the team’s quarterback this past season.

And, while the senior did enjoy being able to touch the ball on each play and control the game at that position, perhaps his best talent showed on special teams. Lewis, the Cougars’ punter, finished fifth in the state in average yards-per-punt, coming in at 42 yards.

Of course, with SWE’s high-scoring offense, which averaged just shy of 40 points per game, he and the offense were rarely in punting situations.

The times he did kick, Barton College was watching.

Lewis on Tuesday committed to play football for NCAA Division II Barton College as part of the school’s inaugural football season, which begins in the fall of 2020. He will be punting for the Bulldogs while also seeing time at the slot receiver position.

“Most people don’t know that about me,” Lewis said of his punting abilities. “Quarterback is cool, but it’s not like I can’t affect the game in other ways. When I’m punting I can rugby too, so I can run. It gives me some decisions to make. I look at it as my way to really change the game.”

Lewis said an old JV coach made sure that Barton coaches saw his film, and it wasn’t long after that he got a call asking if he would come visit. Lewis toured the Wilson campus, and realized that being part of the first football team at the college was something he was interested in.

“I wanted to be part of something like that. It’s going to be awesome,” Lewis said. “The group of guys we got coming, knowing we’re going to make history (at the college), it’s going to be a great experience.

“Even when we toured the campus the teachers that talked to us were excited that football is coming.

As for the gap year before 2020, Lewis that the team will practice throughout the fall and will compete in scrimmages on Saturday’s. As for Lewis, he’ll compete for playing time by displaying an ability to catch passes.

He caught one ball last season for 14 yards. On the list of abilities to hone, next up is working on footwork

As for punting, Lewis has that covered. His favorite punter is former Raiders and Broncos punter Marquette King. Lewis practices often, too, and while most of his positional peers were seeking traditional football camps, Lewis went to Kicking World, a kicking-focused camp.

“I practice it a lot,” Lewis said. “I got invited to a lot of camps, but I chose to go to Kicking World and work on my hang time.”

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