Data Scout Notes: NA/PDoak/PMaxwell/PWCamp/PM1st…09: AP2nd/POY/ROY/1stC
*Dion Lewis/Pittsburgh football Videos
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Coming off a season at Blair Academy where he rushed for 1,243 yards on only 88 carries (14.1-yard average), it didn't take long for Lewis to put his name in the Pitt record books. In just two seasons, he rushed for more yards (2,860) than the Philadelphia Eagles' current starting back, LeSean "Shady" McCoy, did in his two years on the field for the Panthers (2,816).
In 2009, Lewis was the first player in ten years to earn Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season (QB Michael Vick, Virginia Tech), rushing for 1,799 yards and 17 touchdowns on 325 carries along with 25 receptions for 189 yards and a score. He also was award MPV honors in the Meineke Car Care Bowl (). His sophomore season wasn't as productive (219-1,061-13 rushing, 27-16 recieving) due to a shoulder injury and sharing the ball with future star RB Ray Graham.
Though he plays stronger than he looks, Lewis' lack of size and explosiveness will limit his contributions at the next level. The shoulder injury he suffered this fall also brings up durability questions from scouts. He's likely to go through the top half of the draft without hearing his name called.
Strengths: Short, but thick in the lower body. More of an inside runner than most expect given his lack of size. Picks his way through traffic, is difficult to find in the big bodies. Sidesteps tacklers who leave their feet. Sets up safeties once at the second level with head fake and quick cut to make them miss. Spins off blocks inside, willing to lower his head to push forward. Patient runner who waits for a hole behind his fullback or pulling guard. Strong character individual.
Weaknesses: Lacks explosion out of his cuts and the speed to turn the corner or separate from defenders in the open field. Brought down on first contact too often. Runs tough for his size but will not move piles. Does not have the vision and elusiveness to make his own hole when breaking off from the fullback. Missed time with injured right shoulder early in 2010.
Lewis rushed for 2,860 yards in just two seasons at Pitt, eclipsing former standout LeSean McCoy’s school record for rushing yards as a freshman and sophomore. (McCoy had 2,816 yards from 2007-08.) Lewis ranks fourth overall on the Panthers’ career rushing list. He had 1,799 yards as a freshman en route to Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Big East Rookie of the Year and National Freshman of the Year accolades. Lewis was named the game’s MVP in each of Pitt’s bowl victories the past two seasons, including this year’s BBVA Compass Bowl when he rushed for 105 yards and a TD in a 27-10 win over Kentucky.
Became the first player since Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick in 1999 to earn Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season...unanimous first team All-Big East...Sporting News and CBSSports.com National Freshman of the Year...CollegeFootballNews.com Offensive Freshman of the Year...a second-team All-America pick by AP, SI.com, Sporting News, CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and Phil Steele...unanimous Freshman All-American...finished third nationally in rushing (138.38 yards/game) and first in the Big East...on the year, rushed for 1,799 yards on 325 carries (5.5 avg.)...had 17 rushing touchdowns and 18 TDs overall...became the most productive freshman running back in both Pitt and Big East history...surpassed the legendary Tony Dorsett's 36-year-old Pitt freshman rushing record of 1,686 yards set in 1973...Lewis tied Dorsett's freshman records for 100-yard rushing games (10) and fewest games needed to reach 1,000 yards (eight)...totaled 108 points on the year, eclipsing LeSean McCoy's freshman scoring record (90 points in 2007)...capped his debut season by earning MVP honors at the Meineke Car Care Bowl after leading Pitt to a 19-17 victory over North Carolina...rushed for 159 yards and a TD on 28 carries (5.7 avg.) against the Tar Heels, which boasted the country's No. 9 defense against the run (just 92.8 yards per game) heading into the bowl.
In one of the most Herculean performances by a back in Pitt history, Lewis had a career-high 194 yards on a school-record 47 carries (4.1 avg.) against Cincinnati...also rushed for a career-high three TDs vs. the Bearcats...on Pitt's opening drive, he touched the ball all 12 plays (11 rushes and one catch for 56 yards) capped by a four-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead...his last touch of the game was a tackle-breaking five-yard TD that put Pitt up, 44-38 with 1:36 left...named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week for his Rutgers performance...had 180 yards on 31 carries (5.8 avg.) with two TDs, including a 58-yard score, against the Scarlet Knights...rushed for 190 yards on 24 attempts (7.9 avg.) with two scores at Buffalo...Lewis iced the Buffalo win with an 85-yard scoring run in the final quarter, the longest play -- pass or rush -- by a freshman in Pitt history...had 158 yards, averaging 6.6 yards on 24 carries vs. Connecticut...had best rushing game by a Pitt freshman in a season-opening contest with 129 yards vs. Youngstown State...scored three total TDs vs. YSU (two rush, one receiving) and was named the Coaching Staff Offensive Player of the Game.
Rated one of the country's top 20 all-purpose backs by Rivals...New Jersey Prep Offensive Player of the Year...Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Offensive Player of the Year...first team All-New Jersey Prep and All-MAPL...averaged an astounding 14.1 yards per carry his senior season at Blair Academy, rushing for 1,243 yards on 88 carries...eclipsed the 250-yard rushing mark four times as a senior...scored 26 total touchdowns, including 23 rushing, two on punt returns and one receiving...averaged 12.4 yards per carry as a junior, rushing for 979 yards on 79 carries with 14 TDs...led team to a 17-1 record (.944) his final two seasons, including two MAPL championships and a New Jersey Prep state title...PrepStar All-East Region...SuperPrep All-Northeast Team...rated the No. 14 prospect in New Jersey by Rivals and No. 18 by SuperPrep...played under Coach Jim Stone...also a three-year letterman in track.
Dion John Lewis, born 9/27/90, is the son of Leroy and Linda Lewis...has two brothers and one sister...enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Draft Scout Player News
08/16/13 - RB Dion Lewis suffered a broken fibula in Thursday's game against Detroit. Lewis had played well during the summer and was competing for the top backup role behind starter Trent Richardson.
08/16/13 - RB Dion Lewis has a fractured left fibula that will require surgery to repair. A date has not been set.
07/31/13 - RB Dion Lewis is contending with Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya to back up starting running back Trent Richardson. Lewis, acquired from the Eagles in April for linebacker Emmanuel Acho, is proving he can catch the ball out of the backfield - an important quality for a running back in Norv Turner's offense. He is 5-foot-7, and to use quarterback Brandon Weeden's term, "has unbelievable feet."
Hardesty is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
11/23/12 - RB Dion Lewis will back up Bryce Brown Monday night when the Eagles face the Carolina Panthers. Starter LeSean McCoy is out with a concussion.
11/08/12 - RB Dion Lewis, who has been active for just two games this season, likely will play Sunday because of a toe injury to the team's No. 3 running back, Chris Polk.
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