If there were any doubt about Tarboro defensive end Tyquan Lewis’ status among the class of 2013, there isn’t any more.
Lewis participated in Nike’s The Opening, an invite-only camp for senior football players held from July 5-8. The camp, which was held at Nike World Headquarters in Eugene, Ore., is among the top football camps for elite recruits.
In Eugene, Lewis participated in four days of drills and received instruction from a handful of NFL stars and major college coaches.
Lewis’ position coach was Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
“It was real cool to be out there,” Lewis said. “(Suh) was a real cool guy, real laid back when he was talking to us.
“We worked on mostly drills, using your hands better, getting off the ball, stuff like that that will help in college.”
Notables at the camp were NFL players Darrelle Revis, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, Patrick Peterson and Ray Rice, among others.
The 2011 state champion Lewis narrowed his collegiate choice and said his top five is LSU, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Ohio State.
Lewis said he is interested in visiting Miami, and he plans on visiting Houston.
“Clemson was in (the top five), but their roster is full,” Lewis said. “It could end up changing, but it’s hard to say.”
He cannot make official visits until his senior year starts in mid-August but can make unofficial visits until then.
An official visit is paid for by the university, whereas an unofficial visit is financed by the recruit and his family.
While the camp added technical structure to Lewis’ game, there was a tag-along to the invite: Attention. Lots and lots of attention.
ESPN was in charge of the media portion of the event, and as coverage became published, Lewis’ Facebook inbox swelled with messages from Ohio State fans making their case from the Buckeyes.
Similarly, he has been receiving roughly five phone calls a day from recruiting websites, and his Twitter mentions are full of fans begging for him to pick their school.
“I’ll probably make my decision sometime between now and September,” Lewis said. “It’s a lot of stress with everything going on, but it’s winding down.”
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or at firstname.lastname@example.org