“It helped me focus on whats in front of me.” Tigers’ Eddie Lewis on his Journey to the University of Memphis

There are over 100 football players on the University of Memphis Tigers’ football team. Over 100 football players are in the locker room at the University of Memphis’ Billy J. Murphy Athletic Complex, and each one of them took a different path to be in the position they are in today. Tigers’ wide receiver Eddie Lewis took a much different path to be here in Memphis, but without the path taken, Lewis wouldn’t be the same player and person he is today.

Lewis’ path began in Harlem, New York where he started playing football at a young age, around 5 years old. He was introduced to the game of football through a close friend, and after making a big play, a 90-plus yard touchdown in just his first game ever, it was clear football was going to play a big role in his life. Talking about that first game, Lewis told Jordan Zlomislic and Tyler Sumpter in the Psychletes interview, “I got smacked early. Knocked out and then the following drive I got the ball and took it for like 99 and from then it was over It was literally over. Thats when I knew I could do this, when I knew I could hit people and score touchdowns.”

From there, his next major stop came at Mater Dei High School in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Over there and at Milford Academy where he also attended secondary school he set goals for himself to one be a division one football player.

That goal, alongside other small goals set by Eddie Lewis were achieved once he was offered by schools and signed to play at Rutgers University.

At Rutgers Lewis appeared in 16 games in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, hauling in a total 30 receptions for 209 yards and a score. Statistically, things didn’t look too bad for Eddie Lewis. Some would say his stats were average for the role he had with the Scarlett Knights, however Lewis wasn’t, and still isn’t striving to be just average. He’s striving to be great, and his aspirations of being great, although it may seem like a downgrade, sent him to a junior college in Kansas for the 2020 season.

He attended Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas for one year and got back in his groove, catching 23 passes for 513 yards and 4 touchdowns in just 6 games, putting himself back into division one play with the University of Memphis for the 2021 season.

To get to this situation, it took a lot of stops. Lewis went through a lot of adversity, and he is continuing to fight his way to be where he wants to be. Now though, it has become easier to make plays, and easier to be at the level he is at, not because the football is easy, but because he has improved, on and off of the field. When asked about his journey, and if it has indeed helped him get better, Eddie Lewis said, “It definitely does.” and explained, “It gives you the sense of awareness to be able to step back, take a deep breath and see everything that’s in front of you and understand sometimes you may have to slow down, sometimes you have to just take a step back and understand what it is you’ve got and put your thoughts in order, put your plans in order. Maneuver, do everything you’ve got to do. People have a lot of stuff going on that you just don’t know about.” 

With the Tigers, playing alongside Calvin Austin III, Sean Dykes and Javon Ivory, Lewis gained 349 yards, scored 4 touchdowns and had the team long, 75 yard catch with just 22 receptions. With Calvin Austin III now in the NFL, and Sean Dykes gone too, the 2022 season for Eddie Lewis has come down to be a big year thus far. 4 games into the season, the receiver has caught 12 passes for 168 yards and a score while also adding 51 return yards to his totals.

The season has really just begun, and the numbers he’s put up thus far are only growing, putting finishing touches on the amazing story he has to tell for himself. Lewis’ story has both ups and downs, he’s had the good, the bad, and the in between over his career, and has only learnt more from it all. He said, “Most of it (life problems) are self -inflicted. We blame other people a lot for our problems but it really isn’t anyone’s (fault) but your own. God put us on the earth for a reason, everybody’s got a talent, you just got to find out what you’re talented in and when you find out you run with it. If you choose to run with it, when you run with it, don’t look back.”

And opening up more on his own path to Memphis, and his mental struggles throughout the process Lewis told Zlomislic of JZ Media, “I can’t tell you there weren’t any struggles. What I would say about my struggles though would be that I learnt that it was all on me, that I was really the one putting myself in those situations, like being a football player you don’t really have much of an obligation, we go to school and play football, all the other outside stuff you got to learn how to manage it. Once you know how to manage that, your life will become easier, things will get simpler.” But at the end of the day, “Just taking it day by day, I’ve got to win each day at a time.”

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