After giving his verbal commitment to play at Colorado on July 2, Isaiah Lewis was eager to become a Buffalo.
So eager, in fact, that he decided he couldn’t wait until the fall of 2017.
Lewis is one of five prep players for CU’s 2017 recruiting class that arrived on campus last week and will begin classes on Tuesday.
“I’m excited to get up there and get into a new setting and see what it has to offer,” said Lewis, a 6-foot, 195-pound defensive back from Granite Bay (Calif.) High School.
Lewis has had his eye on CU for a while. He took an official visit to the Boulder campus in late June and received a scholarship offer during the visit. CU was the first school to extend an offer. A week later, he gave his commitment to the Buffs, and not long after that, he decided he wanted to get to campus early.
“I figured since I had all my high school class requirements done, it would really make no sense for me to stay, so I did everything I could to graduate early and made that happen,” he said. “I’m really excited, really so I can get a grasp on what’s going on ahead of time and hopefully be able to go in there and make an impact.”
Lewis, who has a three-star rating from Scout.com, projects as a safety, but played cornerback in high school and could also play at nickel back.
“It could be anything in the defensive back area,” he said of where he might play at CU.
The Buffs could use the help in a secondary that was hit hard by graduation. Starting cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Ahkello Witherspoon and starting safety Tedric Thompson are all moving on after exceptional senior years.
CU does return some experience and depth at safety, with seniors Afolabi Laguda and Ryan Moeller leading the way, but Lewis could be a key component if called upon.
“That was one of the things about graduating early is I’d be in the running to get in early and hopefully compete for a spot to play this season,” he said. “I’m excited and I’ll do whatever I can and whatever I need to do to make that happen.”
Lewis, who also had scholarship offers from Wyoming and Kentucky Christian, said recent coaching changes at CU have not given him second thoughts. Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and cornerbacks coach Charles Clark left CU for Oregon last month, and safeties coach Joe Tumpkin is currently suspended as Broomfield police investigate a domestic violence allegation against him.
“Personally it doesn’t bother me at all,” Lewis said of coaching changes. “I still have the same goal, the same mission: just go in there and give my full effort and help the team any way possible.”
More than anything, Lewis is excited to contribute to a team that went 10-4 and won the Pac-12 South division title.
“It was really impressive to me, the work ethic and fight and will they had,” he said of the 2016 squad. “It was super impressive.”
Lewis played only four games at Granite Bay this past season because he separated his right shoulder, but said he is fully recovered and ready to begin CU’s off-season training program.
“I’m super excited to see the difference pretty much between a college and a high school training program,” he said.
About the only thing he’s not excited about is the cold and snow in Boulder, but he will get over that, he said.
“I’m not much of a snow guy; I never have been,” he said, “but I’m ready to adapt and get ready for a new living style.”
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.