Since their 1984 inception, the United States National American Football Team (or USNAFT, for short) has dedicated itself to expanding American football into an international sport. Similar to FIFA, the team competes in the IFAF World Championship every four years. Started in 1999, the United States has racked up three championships against powerhouse teams like Japan and Canada.
Like international soccer teams, the USNAFT has an under-17 and under-19 American football programs that not only help mold the future international players but also prepare them for pursuing a college football (and eventually, NFL) career.
One of the Under-19’s rising stars, wide receiver Eddie Lewis, has hopes to use the skills he has developed on the international level to help make Rutgers a dominant passing offense in 2018.
“I am just blessed to be a Scarlet Knight and will do my best to represent my state and family well,” Lewis told NJ.com.
Lewis, a 6’0, 179-pound receiver, is one of the more dynamic players in Rutgers’ 2018 recruiting class. The Middletown resident is incredibly agile on his feet, making him an elusive ball carrier. Whether it is a spin move, a juke, a cutback, or any other skill move, Lewis is liable to break a defenders’ ankles harder than the worst crossover on a basketball court.
Lewis has incredibly quick feet. At the line, he does a good job at shuffling his way out of a defenders’ clutches and just gets deadlier as he goes further upfield. Lewis can cut on a dime, especially on out/in routes, curls, and slants, which make him a coverage nightmare for any defense.
Lewis also possesses game-breaking speed. He is quick enough to make a clean break on a route and fast enough to take the ball to the house on a slant, post, and vertical routes. He also has incredible jumping skills, as Lewis can snag the ball out of the air, no matter how far from him it is thrown.
He also sees playing for Rutgers as his best way of representing his home and his upbringing.
“Just me being at home. It is in my backyard,” Lewis told NJ.com. “I was born and raised in Harlem, New York. So I know everybody from there. And I go to school out here in Jersey so I know a lot of people out here and there is certainly a support system that I have around if I decide to go to this school.”
One quality that Lewis should improve on this offseason is building more muscle. While is incredibly elusive and quick, he seems a bit lanky and lean in video. He seems susceptible to getting knocked over by bump-and-run concepts and has trouble getting defenders off of him when they stick to him in man-to-man coverage.
With Lewis having gone through intense traveling and a higher level of play with the USNAFT, he brings a more mature, experienced presence to a young, developing locker room for the Scarlet Knights.
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