Peyton Lewis felt at home when he visited Tennessee this weekend.
The class of 2024 running back said that the Vols made a great first impression on him during the visit. He called Tennessee “probably either one or two” early in his recruitment.
“From the jump, they introduced themselves to my family and really made us feel at home,” Lewis told Off The Hook Sports. “And they let us know, ‘if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to ask.’”
A highlight for 6-foot-1, 190-pound Lewis was getting to sit down with Tennessee running back coach Jerry Mack and watch film.
“Coach Mack made sure to see me and my family to go over some scheme stuff and how I would fit into Tennessee’s offense,” Lewis said. “He made sure I knew that I was definitely going to be a key factor in their explosive offense. I can add a lot to them and stuff like that.
“Really, just getting to hear him talk about how I fit into the offense and how he thinks of me as a player and what my potential could be at Tennessee really painted the picture for me.”
It is no doubt that Lewis is a priority for Tennessee. The speedster could play several different roles for the Vols.
Something Mack pointed out was the similarity to Lewis’ high school, Salem High School in Salem, Virginia, and Tennessee. The two schools run similar schemes.
“There’s not too much of a difference between the type of football I play at my high school and the type of football they play at Tennessee,” Lewis said. “He was just making sure that I knew that I would fit in perfectly.”
Lewis ran a sub-11-second 100-meter dash, and recently posted himself running a 6.33 second 55-meter dash indoors. He possesses speed and versatility that Tennessee could use in various ways, as they showed him this weekend.
While Lewis had more interaction with Mack than head coach Josh Heupel, he can tell that Heupel is someone he can trust down the road.
“He’s a good guy,” Lewis said of Heupel. “He introduced himself to my family. I got to learn more about him and he’s definitely knowledgeable and definitely someone I could trust.”
As for Lewis’ timeline, he plans to narrow his choices to a top five by the end of April. He then expects to narrow his schools to three before committing sometime before his senior season.
Lewis expects to come back to Knoxville soon, whether it be for spring practice or for an official visit in the summer he is not sure. Penn State, South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn are some of the schools active in his recruitment right now.
As for now, Tennessee has made a lasting impression on Lewis.
“I really love the culture there and how everything kind of just fits together,” Lewis said. “There’s good people down there, it’s just a love football type of city and state. I’ve been to Tennessee multiple times and I’ve enjoyed my experiences down there.”