August 7, 2009

Lewis ready to join Tide

When Brandon Lewis signed with the Crimson Tide in 2008, he was one of the nation's top defensive end prospects and one of the top overall players in the state of Alabama. Although Lewis was unable to qualify in 2008, the 6-foot-3, 275-pound defender has put his nose to the grindstone at East Mississippi Community College and now appears ready to join the Crimson Tide in 2010.

"I'm on track to graduate in December and enroll at Alabama in January," said Lewis. "I'm focused on getting ready for my season here but I'm also really excited about my future at Alabama. The program is getting bigger and better every day and I can't wait to be a part of it."

The former four-star recruit from Pleasant Grove has bulked up a bit since enrolling at EMCC and spent last season at defensive tackle.

"I play the three-technique here at EMCC but I think at Alabama I will probably be more of a defensive end. Coach Saban really likes my strength and speed and thinks I can really help out as a pass rusher on the end."

While some highly-touted players would be discouraged by the prospect of enrolling in junior college, Lewis said the experience has provided him with opportunities he may never have had otherwise.

"I really think junior college has been a positive experience for me. It gave me a chance to get lots of playing time right away and that has made me ready to step and play right away for Alabama. I've also had a chance to go up against much stronger competition than what I faced in high school since so many of the guys we play against are Division I signees."

As Lewis prepares for his final season at EMCC, he remains in close communication with the Alabama coaching staff, which continues to provide him with guidance as he prepares to join the Tide.

"I talk to the Alabama coaches pretty regularly still. Right now they are a lot more interested in my grades than how I am doing on the field. They want to make sure I'm staying focused on doing what I have to do to finish strong in the classroom."

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