Aug 6, 2012
Tarboro High School's football program has been a machine in recent years, putting out Division-I talent nearly every season and winning three straight state championships.
Most recently, running back Todd Gurley helped the Vikings to the 2011 N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A state championship where he earned Most Valuable Player honors before going on to play at Georgia this season.
But the future is still bright for Tarboro.
At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis is the next highly touted prospect to come out of Tarboro.
Just how good could he be? Tarboro coach Jeff Craddock recalls listening to a conversation between Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Lewis.
"I sat there and heard him tell Tyquan that he has seen the speed that Tyquan brings off the edge in four football players that he's coached in college and all four of them were No. 1 draft picks and playing in the NFL," Craddock said. "He thinks he has the chance to be very, very special."
Ohio State is one of the schools that is recruiting Lewis the heaviest, and the Buckeyes are surely pleased that they are in his top five. Joining Ohio State on Lewis' list is LSU, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Lewis hopes to make a verbal commitment by September.
"My mom and I, we decided that [the determining factor on where he will attend college] it's between the nearness and just the school overall," Lewis said. "Just how do I feel and is it comfortable there."
Lewis has been a key varsity player since he was a sophomore at Tarboro, but Craddock pulled him up from the junior varsity team during his freshman season. He has been a part of three state championships with the Vikings, meaning he has never lost a playoff game with the Vikings.
"He brings a good sense of leadership," Craddock said. "He brings a lot, he's been blessed with great speed and size and talent, and he does the work in the classroom."
Craddock believes Lewis has a lot of upside as well.
"Just like with Todd... I really believe the sky is the limit with them. I think they can become as great as they want to be," he said.
Lewis' senior season will begin on Aug. 17, at home when the Vikings host Nash Central, a game Tarboro lost last season.
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