At the B2G Elite Camp this summer at Cal Lutheran, Robert Lewis earned the nickname "The Human Joystick" and now college coaches are starting to get interested in Lewis' game as well.
UCLA has emerged in recent weeks and South Gate (Calif.) South East assistant coach Juan Carrera said Lewis, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound all-purpose back in the 2012 class, has been excited to hear from the Bruins.
"He's doing pretty good," Carrera said. "He's gotten a lot of interest from UCLA already. He's been invited to their practices and their intra-squad scrimmage so Rick Neuheisel is really high on him. We haven't played our first game, not until Thursday, but he's looking pretty good.
"We're excited because he's gotten a lot faster from last year to this year, he's gotten a lot stronger and he's just a lot more elusive than he was last year. Over the last couple weeks we've had some passing tournaments and he's been at another level."
Lewis rushed for 1,085 yards in his sophomore season and watching him this summer it's clear he can make exciting moves with the ball in his hands. His highlight tape shows a player that can escape from an impending tackle and make a quick move to elude defenders. Getting interest from the Bruins is a big deal.
"That's a blessing especially to get that type of attention for him," Carrera said. "It's elevated his game and his competition level just knowing UCLA is now showing a lot of interest in him.
"I spoke to his father and his father said he's noticed a big change in his work ethic. He had a good work ethic as it was but now it's showing that Robert is a lot more devoted to playing at the next level."
SMU has already offered Lewis, who is now hearing from UCLA, Idaho, Portland State, Cal Poly, Fresno State and San Jose State. Carrera said he thinks once coaches get to see some highlights from Lewis' junior season that even more programs will get involved.
South East opens its season Thursday against Eagle Rock and then the following week faces Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne, one of the top teams in southern California. That exposure should help Lewis' recruitment, Carrera said.
"That's one of the main things that a lot of recruiters have told me because I'm the one in charge of his recruitment," Carrera said.
"I e-mailed a lot of schools and a lot of people are very impressed with him but since he's only going to be a junior a lot of them are just sitting back and I've had some coaches say they're interested but give us a call after your first three or four games."