Kentucky coach Mark Stoops beat Washington State coach Mike Leach on the recruiting trail this week when three-star offensive tackle Nick Lewis flipped from Washington State and pledged to the Wildcats.
“Kentucky has always been in my top three,” Lewis told GN. “When I committed to Washington State it was mostly because it was a dream of mine to play in the Pac-12. But I went to Kentucky and really saw what I wanted in a university, from football to academics and everything.
“I fell in love with the coaching staff, the campus and the players. They play in the best conference and they went 7-5 last year with three of those losses coming in the final seconds. So it’s definitely a program on the rise and I see that now. I really want to play in the NFL, and I think Kentucky will give me a great opportunity to go to the league.”
Lewis, who is massive (6 feet 9, 348 pounds), played at private school powerhouse Jacksonville Bolles. He had been committed to Washington State for more than three months before decommitting and pledging to UK on January 22.
“I love competition, and with me being so big, I always had to play up in a higher age group,” Lewis said. “I’ve always loved competition as a result and I think it’s what is best for me.”
Lewis says he has built a strong bond with Stoops
“I actually talked with him and had lunch with him this week,” Lewis said. “I’ve always had a really good relationship with all the coaches.”
Despite his size, Lewis said UK coaches “tell me that they love my athleticism. With me being so big and tall and being able to bend and move my body the way I do, that’s what most coaches fall in love with.”
Further, Lewis said coaches have told him his footwork “is great for a big guy. And, of course, I can move people because of my size.”
Kentucky signed 20 during the early signing period, and Lewis is one of three prospects who is committed to the Wildcats.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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