BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Tyrone Lewis made a name for himself on the basketball court atNiagara University, but this Purple Eagle is now dreaming big ofsoaring to the top of the NFL.
He's third all time in scoring for the Niagara Purple Eagles,only Calvin Murphy and Juan Mendez scored more points for the NUbasketball program. But it's the football field, not the basketballcourt, that has Tyrone Lewis' attention these days.
Tyrone Lewis spent four years as a starter for Niagara'sbasketball team and his NU career ended last month when the PurpleEagles lost in the MAAC tournament. But Lewis wants to go pro, profootball, not basketball. It all started back in February when aGreen Bay Packers scout saw Lewis lead Niagara to a win overSiena.
Lewis said, "I guess I should thank Siena when we played themhere on the Gallagher Center on ESPN. Right after that was whenEliot Wolf of the Packers called me, and ever since that e-mail,things started to happen for me."
Lewis played high school football as a defensive back inLevittown, Pennsylvania, but he hasn't played football since then.With five NFL scouts looking on Monday, including one from theBills, he ran a 4.6 forty yard dash and went through other footballdrills for the scouts.
"They said it was good; They said I was athletic. If I had theproper technique, which I knew was gonna be the thing, I didn'twork with anybody. It was just me and my roommate Ralph, just doingdrills off the Internet. I only had about a week and a half toprepare for this. It was good," said Lewis.
Lewis grew up with Houston Texans running back Steve Slaton andhe's encouraging his old buddy as he tests his NFL skills.
Slaton said, "He's like, 'football.' Is he serious? Because Icalled him and left him a message and he called me right back afterhe got the message, like, 'Ty, we talking about football?' I said,'Yeah, they called me.' He said, 'That's exciting. They called you,that means something. That's important, they called you.'"
They called, they came, they timed, they watched. The NFL has aneye on Tyrone Lewis and he has his eye on a couple of choices.
Lewis said, "I guess I got two options now, work basketball inthe morning, football in the evening. I'll just do whatever I gottado."
Lewis best chance at a football job is likely to come after thedraft when teams invite undrafted rookie free agents to camp. Andhe's keeping his basketball options open. He may get some interestfrom European basketball teams.
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