If you say the name Aubrey Lewis to most people it would fall on deaf ears. Similarly the name John Lewis II can be announced in the world of football recruiting and you get a regionalized pocket of hurrahs. It’s the story behind John Lewis II that has brought some major division one coaches to the point of intrigue as well as optimism for the young Lewis.
Lewis decided to leave Paramus Catholic and transfer to Montclair High School this past summer and left one of the best linebacking units in the nation by doing so. His former backer unit included Drew Singleton, Tyler Whipper, and Jordan Watson, all who are major college football recruits. They all wished him well and understood why the sudden decision to transfer came about. Lewis wanted to represent his grandfather, Aubrey C. Lewis at the school which has the elder Lewis’s number visibly displayed from the press box. In fact the coaching staff thought it was only fitting that John Lewis wear his grandfather’s #17 jersey number and represent the great character and player that Aubrey Lewis name is famous for. Why is this story so intriguing to college coaches? Mainly because this transfer represents more than a player walking away from a team that may have coaching problems or that may not provide the type of opportunities that the said athlete is seeking. John Lewis saw this as possibly his last chance to uphold the history behind the great things accomplished by his grandfather. Aubrey Lewis was the first African American to be a team captain at Notre Dame. In 1957-58 he was named captain of the Notre Dame track team. He was also a star on the Fighting Irish football team.
Following his athletic career at Notre Dame, he would become one of the first black FBI agents. The racial tensions at this time brought gray clouds over many parts of the country so those who made ripples in areas that were as fragile and explosive as race relations were a little more than heroic but no less than dauntless. Big steps to follow for John Lewis but at 6’2 and a solid 210 pounds, he’s less apt to look over his shoulder but instead to the road ahead. What awaits the outside linebacker and accurate kicker is the opportunity to play one of two positions at the next level. The quick outside backer has the look of a college strong safety and the sure tackling ability of a future starter at any major division one program. There’s an obvious hope in John Lewis’s heart to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and play for Notre Dame but in the end he is just extremely grateful that his football career will continue on the college level. In the meanwhile Montclair is where he once again engraves the Lewis name into the school history books. After that the young Lewis will work to pave a historical road similar to Aubrey C. Lewis. Difficult but definitely attainable by this young recruit. Stay tuned.