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   Welcome to TSLMail #8 - November 16, 2001
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   Recruiting News - Excerpts from the Jonathan Lewis Interview

Jonathan Lewis
On Tuesday of this week, we caught up with defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis (Varina HS, Richmond, VA) for a half-hour interview. Despite all the calls and interviews that Jonathan receives, he graciously set aside time to talk to us and answer questions about the recruiting process and how he'll make his decision.

Catching up on his stats: Lewis is 6-2, 290, runs a 4.8 forty and is ranked the #5 player in the state of Virginia by Doug Doughty. ranks him as a four-star player and the #13 defensive tackle in the country. He is the brother of current Virginia Tech defensive tackle Kevin Lewis.

With the Hokies losing five defensive tackles to graduation after this season (Pugh, Beasley, Wilkinson, Reed, Monroe), defensive tackle has become a critical spot for recruiting this year. It is said that the Hokie coaches have tabbed Lewis as their #1 recruiting target, bar none.

Lewis has scheduled his five official visits: Penn State (11/16), Virginia Tech (12/7), Miami, Fla. (12/14), Florida State (1/11/02), and Virginia (1/18). He wants to take all five visits before deciding, and he will probably make his announcement in late January/early February. Hokie fans will recall that last year, Varina QB Mike Robinson made his announcement (he picked Penn State) on February 2nd and nearly brought the message board to its knees.

"I think about February," Lewis said when asked about his decision date. "Mike (Robinson) waited until February. I'm not as flashy as Mike," he laughed, "so maybe I'll go a little earlier."

The monstrous Lewis, a product of Varina's tough strength and conditioning program, is a rarity: a lineman who could play as a true freshman. The problem is, the Hokies aren't the only team telling him that. We asked him which school he thought offered the best opportunity for early playing time.

"UVa, probably. They're talking about me potentially starting (as a true freshman), but Tech was saying that, too, or at least to be in the two-deep rotation as a true freshman. That's something I dream about. If I am able to step in as a true freshman, that's great, and I'm going to be happy, but if I'm not able to step in as a true freshman, that's something I can understand also."

Academics will not play a major part in Lewis' decision, but not because he doesn't care about academics. "I'm going to major in History, and everybody that I'm looking at has a good History program. I'm looking into some good schools -- Virginia Tech, UVa, Penn State, Miami of Florida -- those are all good schools, education-wise. If I get a degree from any of those five schools, I can do a lot with it." That opinion may change once recruiters talk to him about their academic programs, but for now, there's not a clear-cut favorite academically.

When asked if he had a childhood favorite football team, Lewis replied, "As far as pro teams go, I liked the 49ers. Kevin, he was a Notre Dame fan, so I guess I liked Notre Dame, too. He (Kevin) probably wanted to go to Notre Dame coming out of high school."

Varina plays against James River tonight in the VHSL playoffs, and Lewis is leaving in the morning to go look at Penn State. When asked to name his favorite as his visits get ready to start, Lewis said, "If it all stopped right now, it would have to be Virginia Tech. I've been to Virginia Tech the most. The two schools I've seen are Virginia and Virginia Tech, and I've been to Virginia Tech the most. So as it stands now, Iím leaning towards Virginia Tech before I take my visits."

The full text of the half-hour interview with Jonathan Lewis will appear in TSL Extra #13, which comes out next Tuesday. The interview gives great insight into what Lewis thinks about the coaches and schools who are recruiting him, and what's important to him when it comes to making his decision. If you're not a TSL Extra subscriber, click here to sign up -- you'll not only get a year's subscription for $24.95, but you'll get access to all the back issues, as well.

To view the TSL recruiting database entry for Jonathan Lewis, click here.

   Do Your Christmas Shopping at!

Everybody hates Christmas shopping, but makes it easy to shop for your Hokie friends and family. Just log on to the store and pick out your gifts. When it comes time to check out, you can either have the gear sent to yourself (for wrapping later), or you can fill in the shipping address information with the recipient's name and address. It's simple, and it means you can avoid the traffic and the crowded stores!

We've got a bunch of new stuff at, including TSL apparel and some interesting new items (welcome mats, car mats, hitch covers, football helmets, and more) in our Miscellaneous category. Plus, the items in our Gold Medallion and Barware and Glassware categories make stunning gifts.

And lastly, if you want to give the gift that keeps on giving, give the TSL Extra as a gift! Click here to send up to four subscriptions at a time to your friends.

   News Items From the Past Week

Last Week's Game: the Hokies put Temple away, 35-0, in Philly, for their fourth shutout of the season.
Click here for TSL's game recap.
Click here for TSL's post game analysis.

This Week's Game:
The Hokies will take on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Saturday at 3:30. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Click here to read TSL's game preview, including our score prediction.
Click here to download a roster card in PDF format.

Football Injury outlook for the UVa game:
Starting offensive tackle Matt Wincek is the biggest concern (knee). He probably won't play, and he may even be facing surgery. The staff might decide to operate after the Virginia game and get him ready for the bowl game, meaning that he'll miss the Miami showdown. Jarrett Ferguson, Jake Houseright, and David Pugh all look good for Saturday, although Pugh was sick to his stomach during Thursday's practice, and the staff is concerned that he may have a flu bug or something similar.

TSL Features This Week:
TSLX Spotlight: VT's Own "Rudy" - by Cary Whaley, 11/12/01
Hokie Hotline Notes
-- 11/13/01
Beerman's Picks -- 11/14/01
Weekend Rooting Guide -- 11/15/01

Other News Items:
-- The Tech women's basketball team has signed four players to letters of intent in the early signing period. See this release for full details.

   The TSL Extra - Only $24.95!

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The TSL Extra is a monthly e-publication produced by that you can read on-line or download as an Adobe PDF. The cost for a one-year subscription is only $24.95, and it includes access to all back issues, plus a 10% discount on purchases at!

For more information and to subscribe, check out our TSL Extra Promotional Page Be sure to download the free TSL Extra Sampler and see what you're missing!

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