Four-star athlete Malachi Lewis (6-4, 210, 4.4), from Rio Mesa High in Oxnard (Calif.), helped lead his team to a 10-2 record as a senior. He finished the year with 1500 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions for another three scores.
"I can do it all," said Lewis, ranked No. 6 by Scout.com as a strongside linebacker. "I'm bigger and faster than most guys. I have great speed and am very versatile."
Lewis benches 315 pounds, squats 400 and has a 33-inch vertical jump. "I want to get stronger and more explosive," Lewis said. "I've never really lifted weights, so that's what I plan to focus on."
Lewis favors USC, Oregon, California, Miami, Georgia Tech and Mississippi - but denies a leader. He said that all of his favorites have offered, but that the Trojan offer is strictly verbal. "I've talked with coach Steve Sarkisian and he offered me verbally," Lewis said. "He said they'll have an offer for me, but that before they officially offer, coach Pete Carroll has to see me himself. But he told me to call him if I decide I want to be a Trojan.
"They have really great coaches," Lewis said about USC. "They are a winning program every year and coach Sarkisian is recruiting me as a running back."
The Trojans apparently want Lewis running the ball, while Cal sees him playing defense at safety. He visited the Bears on Dec. 16. "They had a pretty good year too," Lewis said. "I like how hard they play and that they never give up."
The school that has been recruiting Lewis the hardest is Oregon and Lewis tripped to Eugene on Dec. 1. "They have really nice facilities," Lewis said. "The people there are also really nice and it's just a great college town. Everything there is new and they have the best equipment."
Oregon is also his mom's alma mater. His mother, Sheila, was a scholarship athlete for the Ducks and played on the basketball team. Despite his family ties to Oregon, Lewis says he never followed a specific college. "I never watched college football," Lewis said. "I always watched the NFL and the Denver Broncos are my team."
Lewis also visited Mississippi on Dec. 8. "The coaches are really cool and they have a good up-and-coming program," Lewis said. "It's a small university so everyone knows each other. When I took my visit everyone knew I was on campus and people knew my stats and everything. It was cool."
On Jan. 19, Lewis will be visiting Georgia Tech for what may be his final trip. "I don't know yet," Lewis said. "I may still take a visit to Miami or USC if I get a chance."
Lewis says he plans to make his decision just before Signing Day. "It's going to be about atmosphere, the coaches, the players and a chance to play early," Lewis said. "Those are the main things I'm looking for. I don't care if I go out of state or if I stay close. That doesn't matter."
He reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 19 ACT.