Florida added a new player to its 2014 recruiting class on Thursday night with the commitment of Tuscaloosa, Alabama Northridge High tight end Cyontai Lewis, according to reports from The Gainesville Sun's Zach Abolverdi and 247Sports' Luke Stampini and ESPN's Derek Tyson and Kipp Adams ($) and Rivals' Blake Alderman ($). We're late on posting this because I had errands to run this morning. It happens.
But this commitment is the sort of thing that deserves a little analysis.
Lewis is listed by 247Sports at 6'5" and 208 pounds, by Rivals at 6'5" and 212 pounds, by ESPN at a suspicious 6'4" and 230, by Abolverdi at 6'6" and 211 pounds, by his own Hudl page at 6'5" and 196 pounds. If Lewis is going to be a tight end at the collegiate level, he's a receiving tight end first and foremost, and will need to add considerable weight before ever taking the field for Florida, which has four scholarship tight ends on the roster, none listed at less than Kent Taylor's 224 pounds. And Taylor's lanky frame could use a few more pounds, too.
Lewis does appear to have very good hands, in what little I can glean from his Hudl highlights, and has a nasty streak when it comes to blocking, which could help him get on the field faster if he's able to gain weight — the issue of Lewis blocking SEC defenders should be less a want-to problem than a can-he problem.
However, Lewis might be most important as a chip in Florida's recruitment of fellow Tuscaloosa player and Alabama commit Bo Scarbrough, one of the best running backs in the class of 2014. Lewis is, per Stampini ($), a cousin and friend of Scarbrough, and Abolverdi notes that Florida extended its scholarship offer on Tuesday, just two days before Florida accepted his commitment.
Lewis is a fine player in his own right, and fills a need for Florida at tight end, where at least one commitment would be a valuable piece of the 2014 class. But if Lewis can also help get Scarborough to campus in the summer, and get coaches' words in Scarborough's ear without coaches having to whisper them all the time, then that's certainly a bonus.