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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Clarence Lewis

June 10, 2019

Notre Dame’s staff loves two-way players at defensive back and it’s shown in this class with several offers out to prospects who star on both sides of the ball. Their newest commitment, Clarence Lewis‍, is one of those players who makes plays at receiver and defensive back.

The staff likes him at defensive back and I do as well, more so than some other sites right now. I believe he is underrated as a prospect and think this is terrific pickup with a player who could play corner or safety at the next level.

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 185

Projected Position: Defensive back

ISD Grade: 90 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 87.2 (3-star)

What he does best:

Why do I have Lewis rated as 4-star? His size is part of it. Whether he is 6’1” as he’s listed or closer to the 5’11.5” he measured in at The Opening in New Jersey, he’s a big body at defensive back with good length.

He uses that length well with his jam whether lined up in press of off like on this play against a slot receiver. This is subtle, but the jam doesn’t allow the receiver to run clean on his slant and puts Lewis in position to make a play on the ball.


His ball skills are very good and when I see someone getting his hands on the football and then doing something with it returning after, it’s definitely noticeable. Lewis makes a lot of plays on the ball and consistently finds himself in the right spot to finish.

That happens for a couple of reasons. The first is that he tracks it really well, which is where his background as a receiver pays off. He’s not playing this like a defensive back. He’s reacting to this like the ball is supposed to be his.


The second is that he does a great job with his recognition of routes. His instincts are fantastic where you see you pass off a play and read the quarterback to come up with a pick like right here. He’s such a strong factor in zone coverage because he changes directions quickly as well.


That play is simply outstanding.

Lewis is a wrap tackler and I like the way he finishes with that aspect of his game. So many corners end up being carried into the end zone on a play like this, but not Lewis.


What he needs to improve:

It looks like he plays a lot more zone and cover 3 bail than man in his defensive scheme. He has the athletic traits and size to develop into a good man corner, there is just less film of him doing so.

He uses his length to disrupt the timing of receivers, but his footwork can be improved when he does so. It’s not overly sloppy. It’s just not as precise as he’ll need it to be going up against players who know how to release off the line.

What’s his ceiling?

I think Lewis has a very high ceiling and his versatility is part of it. I see a lot of things with him that suggest he could be a great fit at safety as well as someone who competes at boundary corner. His skill set fits both of those spots.

I really value big athletes with ball production who can tackle in the secondary. And Lewis checks those boxes for me.

Joe Wilkins, another player who was underrated as a prospect, is who he reminded me of when watching him. Wilkins obviously moved to offense and looks like he’ll contribute this season and beyond at receiver, but I have no doubt he’s an athlete who could have helped in the secondary.

I feel pretty confident Lewis will stick at defensive back and once he finds his right position fit at Notre Dame, he has the potential to develop into a quality starter.

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