Dec 30, 2021

Kentucky Receiver Lewis Following in Hall-of-Fame Father’s Footsteps 

By Collin Thomas
Florida Citrus Sports 

For one University of Kentucky player, the Vrbo Citrus Bowl in Orlando this Saturday is more than a bowl game experience. It’s a homecoming.

Junior wide receiver Rahsaan Lewis is Central Florida through and through, born here in Orlando, while his father, NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, hails from Bartow – a Polk County suburb just a few miles outside of Lakeland.

“After playing a long season and getting a chance to come back and play in my hometown,” Lewis said. “It’s a hard feeling to beat.”

Lewis credits his father for teaching him early on that in order to build his own legacy, it’s important to stay focused and grounded both on the field and in life. Being the fourth oldest of six children to a Hall of Fame linebacker called for motivation to be great from an early age – a trait the wide receiver still carries with him.

“He made sure we were giving our full 100 percent,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t just through workouts with every rep or set, he told us that we needed to give 100 percent with everything we do.”

Lewis closed his high school career at Windermere Prep, just 17 miles from Camping World Stadium – the site where Kentucky will take on Iowa Saturday at 1 p.m. He was a dual-sport athlete, focusing on football and basketball. According to Maxpreps.com, Lewis played point guard during his senior season and averaged 18.2 points per game along with 5.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and four steals.

As a senior, Lewis shifted his focus to playing football, where he helped lead Windermere to a state championship game. Lewis was a playmaker on both sides of the ball. On defense, Lewis racked up 83 tackles, three sacks, and two fumble recoveries, which included a scoop-and-score touchdown. On offense, he collected 665 all-purpose yards with nine touchdowns.

Lewis’s standout season earned him an offer to join UCF as a preferred walk-on in 2018. During his freshman year with the Knights, Lewis played in seven games and made four tackles as a defensive back.

In 2019, after his freshman year, Lewis transferred to Florida Atlantic, which coincided with a position switch to wide receiver. During his time with the Owls, Lewis saw limited action, with one catch for eight yards in four appearances. That allowed him to redshirt the rest of his sophomore season.

After then-FAU head coach Lane Kiffin departed to Ole Miss, Lewis reunited with his older brother, wide receiver Rayshad Lewis, who transferred from Maryland to Kentucky in 2020 as a walk-on. After seeing no action in 2020 due to injuries, the junior Wildcat saw some action during 2021 season, grabbing two catches for four yards. Lewis also has one punt return for 12 yards during this season.

Lewis said the change between Florida and Kentucky was a culture shock, but it was a good chance for him to settle into a system that finally fit.

“I really feel like I adjusted well,” Lewis said. “It is different from having Miami down the road from you, but it’s a great environment and I really feel at home here.”

Beyond football, Lewis is majoring in community and leadership development. Along with pursuing his degree, Lewis owns and manages his own apparel brand, known as Lewis Mentality.

‘With my major, I’m really learning how to become a great leader in the community,” Lewis said. “But I am still in the process of figuring out what exactly I want to do after school.”

For now, he’s delighted to be back home again to start a new year in a spotlight bowl game.

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