Lewis signs with defending National Champs

By LAURENCE HILLIARD,

Percy Lewis will be playing for a defending national champion next year. The McAdams senior signed with Gulf Coast Community College last Wednesday, the first day of the February signing period, in a ceremony in the school library.

“I'm excited to be moving to a new level,” Lewis said.

Lewis was a two-way lineman for the Bulldogs, but was recruited by Gulf Coast to play defense. That is what he prefers. “I like to rush the quarterback,” he said to laughter from family, friends and fellow McAdams students.

“He is a generational, one in a lifetime talent coming through a school such as McAdams,” Bulldogs coach Kenneth Nelson said. “Many college coaches have said he is an NFL prototype. He was a dominant force for us and a big reason why we led our district in rushing defense. He is a plugger.

“I think Gulf Coast has a prestigious national program that will get him to the next level.”

Lewis hopes the next level might be Mississippi State or LSU. As a senior at Gulf Coast, he was credited with 54 solo tackles, 36 assists, three sacks, six quarterback hurries, five caused fumbles and one rumble recovery.

He was named first team on defense and second team on offense on the 3-1A all region team.

Gulf Coast won its fifth national championship in the fall. The Bulldogs (yes, Gulf Coast and McAdams share the same nickname) finished 12-0 with a 22-19 win over Northwest Mississippi in the state championship game and a 24-13 victory over Lackawanna College of Scranton Pennsylvania in the national championship game played at Pittsburg, Kansas.

Gulf Coast’s 20-member recruiting class, all from Mississippi, is big in more ways that one. The Gulf Coast website lists Lewis at 6-8 and 365 pounds, making him the biggest member of the class, but just barely. Kelin Williams, a two-way lineman from South Pike, is listed at 6-8 and 364. Five other members of the class are at least 300 pounds.