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Brendan McAlinden

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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #26 Clarence Lewis, Cornerback

First he rose fast, now it’s time to rise high

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully, we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.

#26 Clarence Lewis, CB

Lewis enrolled at Notre Dame as a member of the 2020 recruiting class. An under-the-radar prospect (#787 overall, #58 CB) out of Mater Dei High School in Middletown, NJ, Lewis surprised a lot of people by becoming a crucial contributor in his true freshman season. He saw action in every game in 2020, and with a thin depth chart at cornerback and incumbent starter Tariq Bracy struggling, was able to seize a starting role by the end of the season.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Notre Dame vs Alabama Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

While he certainly struggled at times and was challenged by the dynamic receivers of the Clemson Tigers, North Carolina Tar Heels and Alabama Crimson Tide, Lewis held his own enough to maintain his starting role. He frequently displayed a natural feel for coverage with an outstanding wingspan and ball skills. His best game came against the Syracuse Orange, where he finished with 12 tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble, earning ACC (remember that?) Defensive Player of the Week honors. For the season, Lewis notched 33 tackles and an impressive 7 pass breakups, enough for The Athletic to name him a second-team freshman All-American.

The Restaurant That Fits

Shake Shack

A relatively young (founded in 2001) player in the ultra-competitive burger-joint scene, Shake Shack has grown in just two decades from an NYC secret to a global chain of over 250 locations, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange with a market cap of well over $3 billion. With its variety of burger and shake offerings, trademark crinkle-cut fries and embrace of local flavors (the one in downtown Dallas offers a burger topped with sausage from local BBQ staple Pecan Lodge), Shake Shack has become one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the U.S.

An impressive upstart player from the Northeast who has risen quickly through the ranks? That’s Clarence Lewis.

2021 Outlook

With the cornerback position still a relative unknown for the Irish, it’s hard to project exactly what Lewis’ role will be in 2021. His 2020 efforts likely earned him a starting role, but with every role open and a bunch of unknowns it’s hard to project exactly where. Most likely it will be on the edge, where he started in the Blue-Gold game and his wingspan and natural cover skills would make him a fit, but nothing is certain at this point. However, fans can expect Lewis to make an impact wherever he ends up.


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