The Kentucky coaching staff hit yet another home run on the recruiting trail this afternoon, picking up a commitment from 2021 wide receiver Christian Lewis.
Lewis, who is currently listed as a high three-star prospect and is expected to reach four-star status by the time he makes it to campus, chose the Wildcats over Louisville, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Oregon, among 39 total offers.
So why was Lewis – one of the fastest-rising wideouts in the nation – sold on Kentucky?
In an interview with Chad Simmons of Rivals.com, Lewis said the UK coaching staff was one of the first to offer and they continue to make it clear he is one of the school’s top priorities in its 2021 recruiting class.
“What gave them the top spot? They were one of first schools to offer me,” Lewis told Simmons. “They offered me before I had any real film out because I was hurt my sophomore season. They took a chance on me not really knowing what I could do or my abilities. They took a chance on me and they’ve shown me real love since the day they offered me two years ago. They never shied away from me.”
While the entire coaching staff has kept a close eye and maintained contact, UK linebackers coach Jon Sumrall quickly established himself as Lewis’ lead recruiter, a move that paid off in the long run for the Kentucky program. The talented receiver prospect says Sumrall was a game-changer in his recruitment.
“He really played an important role,” Lewis said. “A lot of schools that offer me, I hear from them like once every two months or something like that. Or they’d just send me a little graphic. He’d check up on me four times a week, four or five times a week. He’s not the type of coach to just send me graphics and not say nothing else, he’s going to check up on me, ask about my family, see how I’m doing. He’s one of those type of coaches.”
When it came time for a decision, Lewis said the coaching staff was thrilled to make his addition to the 2021 recruiting class official.
“They were really excited, especially Coach Sumrall because, me and him, we have a really close connection,” Lewis said. “I texted him and I said, “Coach, I have something I want to tell you.” Within like 15 seconds, he responded, telling me to call him ASAP. When I called him and told him, he was really excited. Then when I told Coach Stoops, that’s another coach that hit me up a lot. When I told him, he was real excited, very happy for me to be a Wildcat. Coach Gran and Coach (Bouknight), they were excited too.”
In fact, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound receiver had been leaning toward the Wildcats for roughly four months and privately mulled a public commitment. After sleeping on it for “a while,” Lewis said he simply couldn’t hold off any longer.
“I have really been liking Kentucky for a long time,” Lewis told Simmons. “I have not said too much about it, but I have had Kentucky on top for around four months. I really made my mind up a good while back, but I waited, slept on it for a while and kept asking myself about it before making it public.
“My answer kept being the same and Kentucky is the school for me. My heart continues to tell me Kentucky so it is time for me to commit.”
Now that his decision is official, the newest Wildcat is thrilled about living out his childhood dream of playing in the SEC for a coaching staff dedicated to making him a better player and person.
“I’m most excited about going up there to some coaches that I know who will develop me not only as a player, but to become a better man,” Lewis said. “To see myself playing at an SEC school, if that’s not every child’s dream, I don’t know what is. That’s true for me, playing at an SEC school on full scholarship.”