By Roger Wistar
Tommy Lewis '19 attended the National Combine for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl from Jan. 4-6 in San Antonio, TX.
Lewis was one of 600 high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors from around the country to be invited to the event, held in conjunction with the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, which features many of the best high school senior football players.
Many standout NFL players have previously attended the combine and the game, including Cam Newton, LeSean McCoy, and Patrick Patterson, according to the organizer's website.
For Lewis, the event gave him a chance to learn more about the recruiting process for college football, as well as stack his skills up against other quarterbacks under the watchful eye of coaches and scouts.
"It gave me an opportunity to see where I'm at and where I want to be," said Lewis.
Much of the three days consisted of traditional combine exercises, including the 40-yard dash, shuttle runs, and other tests of physical strength and endurance. Lewis and the other quarterbacks were also put through several passing drills with some of the receivers and defensive backs in attendance.
Lewis and the other attendees were able to register with three of the premier college recruiting services – ESPN, 247, and Rivals – who rank players nationally and provide those evaluations to college football programs.
Other highlights of the event included a keynote speech from NFL Hall of Fame lineman Anthony Munoz, who Lewis said gave a powerful speech about overcoming adversity.
"He said that he had three knee surgeries in four years in college, and people told him he would never get drafted. But he worked hard to get back on the field for the Rose Bowl, and he proved the doubters wrong," said Lewis.
As part of its sponsorship of the event and the program, the U.S. Army also provided attendees with a "Go Army" experience that allowed the players to try out different activities, including flight simulators, sky diving simulators, and other military equipment.
The weekend culminated with the underclassmen watching this year's senior invitees compete in the All-American Bowl game, a narrow 17-16 victory by the West squad.