June 21, 2008

Lewis changes gears

Alabama football signee Brandon Lewis will not attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., and instead will take his game to East Mississippi Community College. The four-star defensive end told BamaOnLine.com on Saturday that the decision was primarily based on distance from home.

"Virginia is a long way," Lewis said. "So we just decided East Mississippi was the best situation for me. I just want to get in there, do what I've got to do and get everything over with."

The JuCo route is typically a two-year commitment, although Lewis hopes to be a December, 2009 graduate from EMCC. Assuming he re-signs with the Crimson Tide, the best-case scenario for Lewis' eligibility at Alabama would be to take a redshirt at EMCC, then enroll at UA in time to participate in 2010 spring drills.

"I'm going to get my GPA up a little bit, and I should be out pretty quick," Lewis said.

Lewis (6-3, 260 pounds), a defensive end prospect, is one of two UA signees that coach Nick Saban confirmed would not be enrolling for the fall term. Wide receiver Destin Hood of Mobile St. Paul is expected to be a third, but has yet to come to contract terms with the Washington Nationals, who made him the 55th overall selection (second round) in the Major League Baseball Draft on June 5. The other signee who won't enroll, wide receiver Melvin Ray, opted for a baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a 33rd-round choice.

Lewis made 66 tackles, 12 for loss, and seven sacks as a senior at Pleasant Grove.



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