Gainesville (Florida) Buchholz offensive lineman Stephen Lewerenz committed to Tulane this week after attending the joint Tulane-LSU camp last Friday, becoming the third commitment in the 2018 class. On Wednesday, he talked with the WaveReport.com about his decision.
I know you visited Tulane three times and went to the joint camp with LSU, but what first attracted you to Tulane.
“Last year after my 10th grade year I was going to a lot of camps and I went to the Georgia Minority Coaches Camp and performed there, and Tulane’s O-line coach, coach (Alex) Atkins, invited me to (Tulane’s) camp last July, and that went pretty good. Basically they recruited me pretty heavily for the whole year, and they told me if I would come to camp this June and be good and do your job, you’ll get an offer. That’s what happened. Coach Fritz pulled me aside after camp and offered me.”
What position do they expect you to play on the offensive line?
“Probably either guard or center. I’m a guard right now. Guard and right tackle.”
What do you like about coach Fritz and coach Atkins the most?
“I love how every place they’ve been to, they’ve brought it from being average or mediocre to a great program and being relevant in the country. It’s just the tradition that coach Fritz and all those guys have on the coaching staff. Just being around the players and coaches, I really got a feel that this is the kind of culture I want to be around and play for after high school.”
What are your best assets on the field.”
“I feel like my most positive attributes are I go to the whistle. I may not be the strongest guy in the weight room, but when we put the pads on, I go all out. Another one is that I’m very quick for a big guy. Tulane is recruiting quicker, more athletic linemen. I feel like I fit their offense that way.”
What is your height and weight right now?
“Right now I’m 6-2 ½, 275.”
Tulane has a run-heavy offense. Do you feel that’s a good fit for you?
“Yes. They run more of an option, spread. They don’t need ginormous guys. They just need guys who can move people and are athletic and quick.”
Where do you need to improve the most in your senior year?
“I think leadership. Last year we had a graduating class of 35 people. We only have nine people in my class. We have a lot of young guys. Really the big thing for me is to be more of a vocal guy and lead this team because of my experience.”
What kind of year did Buchholz have last season?
“We went 8-3 and lost in the round 2 of the playoffs.”
What were the other schools you considered the most?
“I had offers from Middle Tennessee and Liberty and a few others.”
What do you like best about New Orleans?
“I’m from Miami originally. I love culture and how a lot of different cultures come together in New Orleans. I’m a big fan of history, and New Orleans has a bunch of history.”
When did you move to Gainesville from Miami?
“I moved to Gainesville in 2004 or 2005 but we always go back to Miami. My whole family’s from there.”
What places did you visit in New Orleans aside from the Tulane campus?
“We went to Bourbon Street, which is very interesting. We went to Magazine Street. We did all the touristy stuff. We took a tour and visited all the monuments.”
You have a 4.6 GPA. How important were academics in your decision to commit to Tulane?
“It’s huge. Part of the pitch was, hey, if you have a degree from Tulane, we can put you up in a job anywhere in the country because of the vast alumni that Tulane has. I feel like Tulane offers me the best of both worlds—athletics and playing a big-time schedule in a big conference and it also gives me the chance to go above and beyond in my academics and make the most of my college career in the classroom.”
What is your academic focus going to be, although I realize you have plenty of time to make those decisions down the road?
“Political science and government, more of the international affairs area. They have a really good program for that, and that was one of the things that drew me there.”