The Big 33 Football Classic is all about the big plays -- deep spirals down the sideline to wide receivers, defensive ends tearing in from the edge, bent on destruction. It's a showcase game, designed to allow the best players from Pennsylvania and Ohio to showcase their talents.
Penn State wide receiver Eugene Lewis will be a big target for Pennsylvania's quarterbacks this week.
Eugene Lewis knows a little bit about big plays, and is excited to showcase his talents Saturday night in Hersheypark Stadium.
"This is a game that they want entertainment, they want to see the scoreboards go up," Lewis said Monday. "So the wide receivers are probably going to be a big part of the offense for each time."
The big wide receiver from Plymouth, Pa., is one of three Penn State recruits playing in the 55th annual contest. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he's one of the bigger targets on the squad and, as he showed during an early Monday practice, unafraid to head over the middle. His new teammates like his versatility.
"First of all, the first thing that sticks out with Eugene is, what a wonderful kid," said Mike Brennan, who is the head coach of the Pennsylvania squad. "He's respectful, he's hard-working, extremely productive. Big, physical, tremendous balance. Just a playmaker."
Lewis, who ran for 28 touchdowns and threw for 10 more as a quarterback at Wyoming Valley West High School this past season, is working to build a rapport with the guys he'll be catching passes from Saturday -- St. Joseph Prep's Skyler Mornhinweg and Bloomsburg's Blake Rankin.
"Blake and Skyler are out there throwing great passes," Lewis said. "I think they're going to be real good this game."
Several months ago, it looked as though Mornhinweg and Lewis might team up at Penn State. But the quarterback reneged on his commitment to the Nittany Lions late last fall and ultimately signed with Florida.
"I talked to him yesterday about the whole thing," Lewis said. "I just told him he has to go and do whatever is comfortable for him. Everybody has their own decisions and you just can't look at somebody just because they didn't come to your school; everybody has to do what's best for them. That was the best decision for him and I wish him well there."
Brennan said he'd feel comfortable lining Lewis up all over the field -- quarterback, running back, even in the secondary -- but most of his snaps will likely come at receiver.
Wherever he is on the field, expect a few big plays from No. 7 this week.
"He's a guy I think will stick out on Saturday," Brennan said.