Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The West Coast Offense; Lewis Happy about New Home with Jags

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The West Coast Offense; Lewis Happy about New Home with Jags

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

Former UCLA tight end Marcedes Lewis put the exclamation point on his college career Monday night.

He received the John Mackey Award at a dinner on Long Island in New York, given annually to the best tight end in college football.

On the way home to Los Angeles, Lewis, the Jaguars' first-round draft choice, stopped in Jacksonville to be introduced to the media along with his UCLA teammate Maurice Drew, the team's second-round pick.

Lewis, though, couldn't bring the trophy with him. He had it shipped back home.

"It's like the Heisman for tight ends,'' he said. "It [weighs] about 100 pounds.''

The trophy is a sculpture of Mackey, a Hall of Fame tight end who virtually invented the position, in his Baltimore Colts' uniform.

"I got a chance to meet John Mackey. That was definitely an experience I won't forget. He's a great dude,'' Lewis said.

Since Mackey is ailing, his wife, Sylvia, presented the trophy.

"I'm proud of that award. I felt that I earned it,'' Lewis said.

He was the second tight end selected in the NFL Draft after Vernon Davis of Maryland went No.6 to San Francisco, and Lewis said he had no problem with that because Davis clocked a 4.38 40-yard dash to Lewis' 4.8.

But he said, "I was probably the most complete tight end in the draft.''

Lewis prides himself on his blocking.

He was limited to a catch on a two-point conversion in UCLA's 50-38 victory over Northwestern, which had the nation's worst defense, in the Sun Bowl.

But he said he spent most of the day blocking for young backs Chris Mackey and Kahlil Bell, who combined to rush for 286 yards, after Drew went out with a shoulder injury returning a first-quarter kickoff.

"My thing was I wasn't getting the ball, so I was going to bust my butt in the running game. I was pancaking my guys, and that's all that mattered,'' Lewis said.

Lewis has one thing left to do in college -- get his degree. He's not enrolled this semester and is seven classes shy of the degree.

The degree is important to him because he was the first member of his immediate family to graduate from high school, and he wants to be the first to get a college degree (although his stepfather is a USC graduate). …

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