UCLA gets late 2011 verbal from Downey’s Kyle Lewis

Just got off the phone with Downey running back/safety Kyle Lewis, who confirmed that he is heading to UCLA in the fall after giving a verbal commitment to Rick Neuheisel, who offered Lewis last week.

Lewis was an All-CIF 1st team pick for the Vikings after a 1,200-yard, 11-touchdown performance in 2010 and he
won the SPARQ competition at the Long Beach Nike combine last April. Poor grades, though, put Lewis’ future in doubt, and most Division-1 schools held off on offering him after it took Lewis until after signing day to get the grades up.

“Freshman and sophomore year were really tough for me,” said Lewis, who was clocked at 4.49 at the combine. “I got off-track with school, with football. I really didn’t care at the time. I didn’t think I could play D-1. But after junior year I was No. 1 out of 1000s in the nation at the SPARQ combine, and it turned me back on to football and how great life is. It got me right there.”

Lewis said that UCLA regarded him more for his free safety abilities, but he’s considered a true athlete, and that he will sign after he graduates in June.He said he chose the Bruins primarily because of the academics, as he’s back on track in the classroom and has turned a corner after hitting the books.

“I love UCLA man,” Lewis said. “There isn’t a higher ranked school for me. Academics is going to come first, I’ve been picking up my school work the last two years. I knew if I went to UCLA, I’d have a good future.”