Former Hilton Head Christian QB Caleb Lewis takes part in Nike football camp at Ohio State

ccox@islandpacket.comJune 4, 2013 

As a father, Tommy Lewis always wants to think the best of son Caleb and the talents he brings to the football field. But as a coach, the former Hilton Head Christian Academy leader still manages to keep an impartial eye on his star quarterback.

So it was somewhat of a surprise that Lewis thought his pupil still managed to impress over the weekend at Ohio State University, where Caleb was one of 100-plus signal-callers -- including some of the best the country has to offer -- taking part in Nike's annual football training camp.

"(Caleb) seemed to fit right in with them," Tommy said. "There's one side of me that would want to think the best of my kid, but the other side is a pretty critical coach. I really did feel like he fit right in and had a pretty good showing."

The tandem flew up to Columbus, Ohio, last Friday before the one-day camp began the following morning. Once there, Caleb went through about a dozen stations stretched out across two football fields at the Buckeyes practice facility.

Receivers were on hand to assist in each drill, which featured such competitions as moving and throwing in the pocket, deep throws down both the sideline and middle of the field, as well as dump off routes to a tailback out of the backfield.

Mental tests were also administered, as Caleb was asked to identify coverages on a screen within a two-second time frame inside the Ohio State indoor facility.

"It was really neat," Tommy said. "That's certainly the most quarterbacking stuff we've ever gotten out of any camp."

A rising junior, the former Eagles quarterback still has a ways to go before he has to think about college. But with several scouts on hand to see some of the nation's elite prospects in the 2014 class, doors still may have been opened for the future, Lewis believes.

The nation's top-rated dual-threat quarterback, Brandon Harris of Bossier City, La., and two of the country's best pro-style signal-callers -- Kentucky commit Drew Barker and North Carolina commit Caleb Henderson -- were also on hand to compete with Lewis.

"Time will tell how valuable it was in terms of getting him recognition," Tommy said. "In terms of a learning opportunity, an opportunity to see him compete alongside some of the best high school quarterbacks in the country, that kind of experience is invaluable.

"You couple that with the fact that he did pretty well. He didn't look like a fish out of water. He didn't look like he was in over his head."

Rarely has Caleb looked in over his head. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect led Hilton Head Christian to a 12-1 record last season and a second consecutive SCISAA Class 2-A state title before departing for Victory Christian Academy in Lakeland, Fla., with his father. He completed 55 percent of his passes in 2012 for 1,998 yards, 23 touchdowns and three interceptions to go along with a 177.84 pass efficiency rating.

Lewis will likely take part in the regional tryouts next season to take part in the Elite 11 quarterback camp, his father said. But for now, the duo will head to Miami to compete in a camp this weekend before his team travels to Florida State in two weeks. Later this summer, Caleb will participate in Peyton Manning's Passing Academy before camping at LSU.

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