Aaron Lewis Builds Intrigue In WVU Announcement
MORGANTOWN, W.Va — It’s only a matter of time until someone begins a business specializing in taking high school athletes’ commitments commercial … setting up a television show not unlike the NFL draft to make the major announcements together around the country.
And if they do, may I suggest they seek out WVU’s latest 4-star football commit, 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end Aaron Lewis of Williamstown, N.J., to create the format as he is a coming master of mystery not at all unlike Alfred Hitchcock himself.
Lewis announced on Wednesday that he was committing to the Mountaineers following his visit for the spring game.
The competition was tougher than Justify faced in winning the Kentucky Derby.
There was Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and a whole lot of other schools. About the only school coach Neal Brown didn’t have to beat to get this kid was Coastal Carolina.
Good thing, considering how the basketball season ended.
Anyway, he actually knew where he was going Saturday. According to the Camden Courier-Post, which covers southern New Jersey high schools, he knew before he left the spring game.
“You know, to be honest, all these visits, they were all great colleges, all great visits, there was just something different about West Virginia,” Lewis said. “I felt love from the fans, felt love from the coaching staff, love from the players. I was at the spring game and I had people coming up to me, they didn’t even know me, ‘Aaron Lewis, we’d love you to be a Mountaineer.’ Them recognizing me is great.”
It was, quite obviously, a better full court press put on the Lewis by all aspects of the recruiting community than Bob Huggins put on Coastal Carolina.
He reportedly told Brown and the WVU staff and players of his decision, but they can’t make such an announcement because it isn’t binding until he signs a letter of intent, but no one expect that he won’t.
After all, who can say no to so much love?
So, it was up to him to figure out how to tell the world of his choice.
Kids today have taken to stringing out such announcements, holding press conferences at the school, wearing on teams hat, then switching it for another, or wearing one team’s jersey and then taking off to a display their real school of choice underneath.
Who knew from watching the national news shows that today’s kids were so playful?
And so it was for with Lewis, who added a social media savvy to the procedure.
On Tuesday he built the suspense, tweeting:
“Be on the lookout tomorrow”
Then, Wednesday morning he offered another tweet warmly thanking his coach, Frank Fucetola, not only for what he did for him but for what he did for the whole program.
“You will never find a coach more dedicated and committed,” he wrote.
He thanked Buddy Brown, who guided him through the process; the coaching staff, his defensive coaches in particular, and his girlfriend Nina. He went on to thank his grandmother for her part and he offered a warm tribute to his mother.
“My mother was the glue to this whole thing,” he wrote. “She was the reason this all happened and worked out. I don’t know how I will repay you but I want to thank you with all my heart. I love you.”
And then he turned to his announcement.
“With that being said, I will be committing to …”
@ 2:11 pic.twitter.com/PZrtYRYEuF
— aaron.lewis84 (@aaron_lewis71) April 17, 2019
The tweet ended there.
And he went silent before adding one final video, which simply was “Commitment Announcement”, followed by brief WVU video and then with a picture of him in a WVU uniform, No. 71.
It was well-orchestrated, stretching out the intrigue.
Now the question is, what is WVU getting?
Well, here’s some things that have been said about Aaron Lewis:
“He’s the best I’ve ever coached on the defensive side,” coach Fucetola said. “He takes over games.”
“He’s unblockable and you can’t run away from him,” added his defensive coordinator Mike Seidenberg.
The Courier-Post put it this way:
“In a little more than four years, Lewis has developed from a neophyte football player into one of the most disruptive, dominant defensive athletes in the state.”
All that and he plays the guitar, too, and says, “I used to sing a little.”
Now he has to add “Country Roads” to his repertoire.