Four-star running back Peyton Lewis is taking one official visit this cycle, to Tennessee. Since committing to the Vols at the end of May, Lewis has had no second-thoughts about his decision.
“I came back on campus to hang out with coaches and teammates and hopefully other future teammates,” Lewis said. “It’s really made me fall in love with Tennessee more. I do not regret my decision at all. The experience is a whole lot better knowing that this is the place I finally made my decision at. Even though I was there for like three days it felt a whole lot better to know that this is where I was headed.”
The speedy running back, who ranks as the No. 191 prospect nationally and the No. 14 running back in his class by 247Sports Composite, chose Tennessee over South Carolina and Alabama. His official visit further solidified his decision.
“This official visit to Tennessee was a whole lot more action-packed,” Lewis said. “I got to spend a whole lot more time with teammates and current players on the Tennessee football roster. So, that was pretty cool to me. I got to hang out with some of the players. That was super dope and that’s what stood out to me.”
Several prospects on campus this weekend, like Boo Carter and Lewis, spent a lot of their visit peer-recruiting other prospects. For Lewis, he put his focus on running back Braylen Russell and offensive lineman Ronan O’Connell.
It’s coming down to Arkansas and Tennessee for Russell, a four-star running back out of Benton (Ar.) High School. Running backs coach told Lewis that him and Russell in the backfield could be “thunder and lightning.” Lewis did his best to pass along the message.
“Me and Braylen really got to talk about how he feels about Tennessee and how he feels about his other schools that he’s considering, like Arkansas,” Lewis said. “I’ve kind of just reassured him that Tennessee is kind of that hotspot where they have a lot of offensive momentum, so it’s definitely something you would want to be a part of. Overall the coaches and how they do things and how they actually put fun into it, it’s not all business. It’s unlike any other school.
“I made it clear to him that, um, I do not think in any way, shape or form that he’d be making the wrong decision by coming to Tennessee.”
On top of peer recruiting, Lewis got to spend time with some current players and his former teammates. He mentioned Jaylen Wright, Dylan Sampson and Bru McCoy as some guys he got the chance to hang out with.
“We hung out a lot over at their houses and really got to talk a little bit about how their college experiences were,” Lewis said. “How they started out, how they ended out. It’s just kind of cool to hear their perspective on things.”
The official visit also spent more time spent with coaches, including Mack and special teams coordinator Mike Ekeler. Both coaches emphasized how important it is for him to enroll early.
Aside from learning plays in the backfield, Ekeler wants to utilize Lewis’ speed on special teams. That is made easier if he chooses to early enroll.
Lewis has to meet with his school counselors, but he hopes to enroll early and join the Vols.
“He made it clear to me that it’s beneficial for me to early enroll because I definitely have a chance early to be on the field and play regardless if it’s punt return, kick return or the backfield at running back,” Lewis said. “Coach Ekeler made that clear to me as well, he just wanted to make sure that I knew that I was still a high priority and that if I early enroll then I’d have a good chance of being on the field early.”
Lewis plans to be on campus for several games in Neyland this fall, including the Texas A&M and South Carolina contests.