Ex-UM star Lewis eager for camp, proud of Cass Tech

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Oak Park — Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Jourdan Lewis was working out Monday afternoon at Oak Park High School, getting ready for the Dallas Cowboys’ mini-camp, which begins Friday.

Lewis was one of two former Detroit Cass Tech players drafted in the NFL last month, joining Michigan teammate and safety Delano Hill, who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks just three picks after him in the third round (No. 95 overall).

When told that Cass Tech was just one of 12 high schools nationally to have two players selected in the NFL Draft this year, Lewis quickly replied: “Actually, there’s four of us since two of us got free-agent deals, DaQuan Pace (Eastern Michigan) with the Bengals and DeJuan Rogers (Toledo) with the Bears. All four of us played in the same secondary our senior year and it’s definitely amazing, a great feeling.”

Lewis was training at Oak Park with a pair of former Cass Tech teammates in defensive backs Terry Richardson, who played at Michigan before capping off his college career last season at Marshall, and All-American track star Dior Mathis, who played defensive back at Oregon, graduating in 2015.

It was Mathis who is now a speed trainer, helping Lewis get ready for camp.

“He helped me a whole bunch, especially my Pro Day; I got faster,” said Lewis of training with Mathis. “I’m just running, staying in shape and getting my stamina up. I’m stretching so I get my flexibility right.

“I’m going down to Dallas the 11th and mini-camp starts the 12th. It’s just going to be an exciting experience. I haven’t been to Dallas yet so I’m excited to see what’s in store.”

Lewis was happy to have played for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

“He’s a genius, knows how to recruit, knows how to win football games,” Lewis said. “Anything that’s around football it looks like he has the golden touch. He’s just a special type of guy and I’m so happy and appreciate that I had the chance to work with him.

“(Having a school-record 11 players drafted) is a great recruiting tool. You see all those guys going to the NFL, see all those great coaches who get us ready. Why wouldn’t you want to go to a program like that when they make players NFL ready.”

Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher was thrilled to have his players drafted and to have Pace and Rogers get free-agent deals.

“I love the bond they have for each other, they’re always going to Cass to work out and they always try to stay in touch with each other, talking about what they need to work on,” Wilcher said.

Cass Tech won the Division 1 state championship this past fall with Donovan Peoples-Jones and Jaylen Kelly-Powell moving on to Michigan.

Wilcher said Cass Tech will play Ohio state power Pickerington Central in the season opener Aug. 24 at the University of Toledo.