It’s been a few weeks since UK scored a commitment and once again it is second-year assistant Jon Sumrall recording another win on the recruiting trail. The Wildcats landed their fourth wide receiver prospect in the class of 2021 with Lewis becoming the second-highest ranked recruit, trailing only blue-chipper Dekel Crowdus.
It’s now time to step into the KSR Film Room to see just what the 6-foot-3 wide receiver will bring to the table. The Birmingham, Alabama area native played for one of the state’s best teams as a junior and posted some monster numbers (75 receptions, 1,398 yards, 20 touchdowns). He averaged 18.64 yards per grab with a touchdown rate of 26.67 percent. That is getting the job done.
Obviously, getting open and being able to pull in receptions is the most important skill set for a wideout to have, but you also need to have a little bit of playmaking ability to turn small plays into big gains and big plays into home runs. Lewis has the ability to go up and get the football before quickly making people miss in space.
On the dig route, Lewis high points the football and then has the spacial awareness to know exactly where the safety is barreling down at to make a tackle. A smooth little jump cut to the right clears two defenders and the tall wideout out runs them all to the right pylon for six. This is a big-time play.
Lewis is just an outstanding tackle-breaker.
The outside receiver does a really good job fighting off press coverage at the line of scrimmage and winning inside leverage to give the quarterback an easy throw. Even though the quarterback fires off target on the slant, Lewis make an adjustment and runs through three tackles on his way to the end zone. He transitions from pass catcher to ballcarrier very well.
Contested catches are something you have to have at the next level and with Kentucky expected to modernize the offense in upcoming seasons, you have to have players that can line up outside and win in isolation situations by beating out corners for 50/50 balls.
Lewis flashes some terrific hand-eye coordination on tape and has the ability to pull in receptions through contact. That should translate well to the next level and will help him impact the game on third downs and in the red zone. He finishes plays and that should instill confidence in your quarterback.
He plays big boy football.
Lewis is a tall, lean outside receiver prospect who projects as a X receiver who will line up on the weakside of the formation facing a ton of press coverage. The top-15 player in Alabama does a great job playing against pressure and displays a huge catch radius that gives his quarterback a ton of places to put the football. He flashes a limited route tree with slants, digs and gos but makes some jaw dropping plays despite be pressured and hit while attempting to reel in receptions.
His separation ability needs to improve as that is the surest way to get open at the next level, but that should come with a sharper route tree. However, UK is bringing in a high-floor prospect who has the size and ability to play very soon.
The Wildcats now have 12 commitments in the class of 2021 and the four highest-ranked players are found at wide receiver. They first landed Chauncey Magwood to play their H receiver who lines up in the slot while Dekel Crowdus is the speed demon needed at Z receiver to take the top off of defenses. Now both Armond Scott and Christian Lewis figure to battle it out at X receiver as both are tall, physical receivers who can play through contact and make tough, competitive catches.
Entering the 2020 season, UK won’t have a true wide receiver that ranked in the top-600 coming out of high school and they only had one high three-star prospect (TaeTae Crumes) who wasn’t a part of the 2020 class. Now in the class of 2021, the Wildcats have four top-600 prospects at the wide receiver position.
The best way to fix a weakness is through high school recruiting and UK has been doing that in their last two recruiting hauls. Despite catching the college football world by storm in 2019 with a hybrid spread option run-heavy scheme with Lynn Bowden Jr. at quarterback, the Wildcats are telling us that they are determined to fix the pass game by the work done in the last two recruiting classes. These results should equal a very good pass offense in the near future.