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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
2015 CB Lewis perseveres, getting noticed

By Gary Laney

ZACHARY, La. -- Sunday wasn't the best day for Xavier Lewis (LaPlace, La./East St. John).

The 2015 cornerback didn't perform up to his standards at the NUC 5-star Challenge in Baton Rouge, often getting beat by lesser-known receivers.

But one subpar day won't likely derail Lewis, who is used to persevering and, as a result, is starting to hear from a lot of programs. He received his first offer receintly from Tulane, and he's getting interest from several SEC schools, including LSU and Mississippi State.

"Miami invited me to camp," he said. "I'm going to [visit] Florida with [2015 RB prospect] Nick Brossette and I want to try to get to USC."

He's getting the chance to visit major programs because he has camped well and performed admirably for the Wildcats, who faced a difficult year after Hurricane Isaac swept through the communities around East St. John, a school in the outer western suburbs of New Orleans. The late August storm caused extensive flooding, giving Lewis flashbacks to Hurricane Katrina seven years before.

"The hurricane trashed our whole school," said Lewis, who said his home was not damaged by the floods. "We didn't have a weight room to train. So this summer, I'm going to try to be the best."

ESJ was able to piece together a season. He said the damage was so extensive, the Wildcats were left with no equipment, leaving him to wonder if he'd have to transfer somewhere else to play a 2012 season..

"I didn't want to go anywhere else," he said. "I wanted to play with my team."

The Wildcats managed. When he received a call from an ESJ coach that the Wildcats would practice for a Week 2 game, he said, "I was so happy," because he had feared having to relocate like so many locals had to after Hurricane Katrina. In a trip to play St. Louis Catholic in Lake Charles, the Saints sent the Wildcats home with spare equipment.

Slowly, things came together and the Wildcats made the state playoffs.

"But I didn't have a good season," he said, perhaps feeling a bit cheated from having to deal with improvised facilities and equipment.

He's hoping to make up for it this year. East St. John is back up and running, while Lewis is working hard, doing the camp circuit to get his name out and not taking for granted the fact that he has a facility at his disposal to do the work that needs to be done.

It's paying off. Many scouts are rating him among the best players in Louisiana.

He's hoping to get noticed by more scouts that matter, the ones from major college programs.