South Carolina signee Marquavius Lewis had a standout sophomore season at Hutchinson Community College and will be on campus in Columbia this week.
The 6-foot-3, 266-pound defensive end led the Kansas junior college with 63 tackles in 12 games, including 20.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. He had 21 quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles and recovered one.
He was named a junior college All-American and Jayhawk Conference defensive player of the year.
Lewis, originally from Greenwood High, committed to the Gamecocks in late July as part of an official visit to USC. He also took official visits to Miami and Arizona State. He narrowed his focus to USC and Auburn and signed with the Gamecocks on Dec. 17.
Hutchinson defensive line coach Todd Middleton called Lewis’ final season there “outstanding.” Middleton played for Wake Forest in the 1980s when the Demon Deacons played USC. He had this breakdown of the new Gamecock:
What made Lewis such a sought-after prospect?
He’s a very talented person, very athletic. Marquavius is a powerful edge rusher. A lot of your great pass rushers these days are undersized, but he’s the prototypical size that NFL scouts look for. He’s an explosive playmaker, very smart, very serious, very focused.
How did he stack up against the junior college competition?
I don’t know how many people at this level can block him. There are some great players, guys that will play in the SEC, ACC and all the major conferences, but he stacks up well against anybody he plays.
Is he better against the pass or the run?
It gives him such value in that he’s equally good at both. That’s his great asset. He’s very powerful on the run game. He can control blockers, 320 and 330 pounds because he’s very powerful. Still he’s very athletic and explosive and he can rush the passer.
How was his personality off the field and at practice?
He’s very down to earth. He’s very coachable. He doesn’t have the ego. He’s not temperamental. He’s very even keeled and not immature. That’s what you usually don’t find at the junior college level. You find great athletes but they haven’t matured emotionally. He’s a mature man. He’s not a young man trying to grow up and find himself. He doesn’t get out of control or riled up, as far as acting out of character. Those are his greatest assets – how he handles himself.
What was he like to coach and in practice?
Tremendous practice habits. He was always a leader, always there on time. He loves the game, he cares about the game, he doesn’t take plays off, goes hard in practice. He’s an outstanding person to be around.
Will he be physically ready to play right away?
There’s no doubt. I’ve played against South Carolina. I know the type of players they have. He’s physically prepared to compete in the SEC. He’s an older guy. He’s been in the weight room. He’s physically ready. A lot of guys come out of the junior college ranks and have great athletic ability but they need to get used to that speed of the game. He’s as big and strong as anybody he’ll face. He can really run.