The top-rated skill player in Penn State's Class of 2012, Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Meyers wide receiver Eugene Lewis could make an impact early in Happy Valley.
Lewis was lights out as a quarterback this year for Wyoming Valley West High School, running for 1,534 yards and 28 touchdowns and throwing for 1,012 yards and 10 scores. He was a first time all-state selection after being a second team pick as a junior.
He was the Citizens Voice Player of the Year and was the Times-Leader co-Player of the Year. He took part in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Dallas in January.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Lewis is an accomplished athlete on the gridiron and on the basketball court as well.
"Eugene Lewis is a great, great athlete," said wide receivers coach Stan Hixon. "I went to see him play basketball last week and a couple times before. He's 6-2ish already and probably in the 200's. He has the body size right now and the quickness and athletic ability - you really can see it on the basketball court how it transfers to the football field.
"I think he has a chance to help us out. You never know until they get here, I think all of them can help us out, but right now some may help us more than others. Just looking at him, with his body-type, he's ready to go. Sometimes you get a freshman who comes in that is skinny and needs the weight room, but his body and his athletic ability, he's ready to go right now."
New head coach Bill O'Brien plans to use a number of receivers in his gameplan offense, and Lewis should fit the bill moving forward.
"[Lewis is] a really sharp guy, a guy that loves football," said O'Brien. "He's going to do a great job off the field. He's really going to work very hard to get a degree and is going to help us on the field.
"He has a good skill set for what we're going to try to do. With all these guys, I’m really excited to start coaching him and having him on board."
Why Penn State?
"I've been going there every year since the eighth grade, so I really just got so comfortable there and thought it was the best place for me to go. I definitely wanted my family to be there and all the people in the area. I just felt like that was the place for me."
Why did you come back to Penn State after the scandal?
"I stood by my commitment just because I felt that once I committed to a school, that was the place I wanted to go and that was it. I didn't want to have any second guesses or regrets about my decision, and even with everything that has happened with Penn State, I want to be one of those people that try to help get it back to where it was and try to help as much as I can. Anything I can do to help Penn State, that's what I'll do."
If you didn't go to Penn State, where do you think you would have ended up?
That's a tough one, I really have no idea, I'm not going to lie. If I didn't go to Penn State, it would have probably been between Virginia Tech, Oregon, Pitt and Maryland."
What do you think of the new coaching staff?
"It's great, man. I think the coaching staff is really a good group. I like everybody that is there, I think they'll be able to be successful and win a lot of games. I talked to Coach Hixon a little bit today, he was just saying congratulations on signing and he's just excited for me to come through and be able coach me."
What are you looking forward to about getting to Penn State?
"Definitely just getting started, meeting new people, the players and getting those relationships started. We're just trying to start something and trying to win a national championship."