August 19, 2011
Coach: Lewis and Boren are leaders for Central
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The Pickerington (Ohio) Central football program has turned itself into one of the top talent producing high school football programs in the state of Ohio over the last few years. The Tigers and head coach Jay Sharrett have sent players all over the Midwest, many of whom have went on to outstanding college careers. Ohio State dipped into the talent pool a few years ago by landing defensive back Jamie Wood and fullback Zach Boren and the Buckeyes are back in the 2012 class, landing a pair of outstanding players in offensive lineman Jacoby Boren and wide receiver Roger Lewis.
For Sharrett, both players provide experience and leadership to his locker room as the Tigers prepare for a potentially special season. Along the way, Sharrett knows that Boren's experience will be huge in key situations.
"He's a four-year starter for us," said Sharrett, of Boren. "He's started every game since his freshman year and when you do that, it's almost like you have two senior seasons so he's going into his second senior season right now. He's just a veteran. He knows all of our calls on offense and defense, knows when to dial up the intensity and when to back off from it a little bit."
Having coached older brother, Zach, Sharrett says that while they are different players on the field, they both share that same level of intensity and competitive nature.
"Well (Jacoby) has the bragging rights," Sharrett joked. "Zach benched 405 and Jacoby put up 415 so that's a little family battle there but they can handle that."
With Lewis, though not quite as experienced as Boren, his leadership, experience, and willingness to do the little things just adds to his exceptional physical tools.
"He's got great ball skills and then you throw in the 6-foot-2 height," Sharrett explained. "He's a competitor and he's not a selfish player. If it's a running play up the middle, he'll be the first one to go down the field and block the safety and if it's a pass play, he'll do everything he can to get the ball into the endzone."
The Tigers have produced many outstanding receiver/defensive back types over the last several years and Sharrett says that Lewis projects as well to the next level as any of them.
"We've had great guys with ball skills that might have been 5'10 or 5'11 but you throw the 6'2 in there and that really catches the eye," he said. "He's right up there at the top (of athletes he has coached) we've had Eilar Hardy, Tamani Carter, Brian Peters at Northwestern, so we've had some guys that have gone on to play well and I'm sure he's going to do the same."
Lewis will finally have his time to shine this fall. After being considered Central's "big play threat" last year, Lewis will need to be more than just a homerun hitter in 2011 and Sharrett says his experience in learning from some of the veteran players last season should serve him well.
"It certain situations in certain games, he was on the field all of the time but when you have Eilar Hardy, Tamani Carter, Kris Strange, guys who have gone on (to the division I level) you learn from them and you learn how to prepare for the game," Sharrett explained. "When you get your chance, you hit your crease and score your touchdowns and that's what he did for us last year and that is what has really helped him."
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