Michigan cornerback commit Jourdan Lewis breaks out at prestigious recruiting event
Quarterback Shane Morris is the highest-rated recruit in the nation's highest-rated recruiting class. But this weekend, another Michigan football commit made his mark.
His name is Jourdan Lewis, and he's quickly becoming one of the country's most respected high school cornerbacks.
Seven Michigan commits were at The Opening, a prestigious three-day event held at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Only USC sent more pledges.
Lewis was the class of the Wolverines' contingent, according to Scout Midwest recruiting analyst Allen Trieu. He received all-tournament honors in the seven-on-seven competition and was named the skills challenge champion.
"He made a lot of flash plays, a couple of interceptions -- including one he returned for a touchdown," Trieu said. "He’s probably got the toughest job, too, as a corner. You’re going up against some of these top-end receivers in seven-on-sevens, and that’s not an easy task they gave him."
Lewis is a four-star cornerback from Detroit Cass Tech, where he teamed up last season with incoming Michigan freshman Terry Richardson for a formidable one-two punch.
In some ways, Lewis already might be a better cornerback than his older counterpart, even though he has a year left of high school before joining the Wolverines next year.
The biggest knock on him is his size. He stands just 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds.
"He’s a guy who can play early in college," Trieu said. "The question is whether he’ll be physically ready to do that. If he can get a little stronger, get a little bigger, I think he’s a guy who can challenge for playing time right away when he steps on campus."
At The Opening, Lewis showed he can be a force even against bigger receivers.
"It’s one thing for him to go against guys that Cass plays, or guys at camps at Michigan," Trieu said. "It’s another thing for a kid to come out to The Opening and do that -- especially for a kid who is one of the smaller corners here.
"When you got him going against 6-5, 6-4 receivers who are nationally recruited guys, the worry is whether he’s going to get out-jumped, out-physicaled, kind of out-manned by some of these bigger receivers. And that has not happened. He came out here and really held his own against some mammoth receivers."
Although Lewis was Michigan's biggest standout, other commits had strong showings as well. That group, as is often the case, includes Morris.
The Warren DeLaSalle star is ranked among the top-five pocket quarterbacks in the country, but he struggled early in the offseason, especially with putting touch on his balls. Now, he seems to have remedied the issue.
CBSsports.com's Bryan Fischer said Morris was the top passer during pool play in the seven-on-sevens. Rivals national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said Morris was one of the two best quarterbacks in Beaverton.
"He had, I would say, an average first day, a great second day and a good third day," Trieu said. "But when he’s been on, he’s been very on. His arm strength might be the best of any of the quarterbacks here. He’s fit a lot of passes in tight windows.
"Where I saw development was he did a much better job of taking what the defense gave him. He went short when he could, took chances when he had to, but he also checked down more. The biggest thing is he just needs to get more consistent, and I thought he was consistently pretty good over Day 2 and Day 3."
Four-star tight end Jake Butt (Pickerington, Ohio) also boosted his stock over the weekend, especially for his pass catching. He joined Lewis on the all-tournament team for the seven-on-sevens.
Trieu said Butt posted the most surprising performance of the Michigan players.
"He’s a tight end who is kind of the new-age tight end, where he can flex out and play a little split, or they can line him in the slot," Trieu said. "He can run pretty much any kind of route.
"He was running short routes over the middle, he was running wheel routes, he was running routes up the seam. Basically anything you need him to do in the passing game, he can get it done. Even though he’s a highly ranked guy, highly regarded guy, the extent to which he’s performed and stood out here is a little bit surprising."
Defensive lineman Taco Charlton (Pickerington, Ohio), linebacker Mike McCray (Trotwood, Ohio) and offensive linemen David Dawson (Detroit Cass Tech) and Kyle Bosch (Wheaton, Ill.) rounded out Michigan's contingent at The Opening.