Purdue added a solid defensive piece from the transfer portal over the weekend.
Damarjhe Lews, a 6’3”, 300 pound defensive lineman, originally from Griffin, Georgia, and former member of the Indiana Hoosiers football team, announced his transfer to Purdue over the weekend.
— Damarjhe Lewis (@_damarjhelewis) May 1, 2021
Lewis, rated as a 3*(87) prospect out of high school, was the highest rated defensive player (according to 247 Sports) in the Hoosier’s 2020 class, and was rated as the second best overall player in their 2020 class. His primary recruiter for Indiana was Coach Mark Hagan, who now coaches defensive linemen at Purdue. Indiana beat out legitimate offers from Auburn and Florida State for Mr. Lewis’s services.
As mentioned in the above tweet, his cousin, Brandon Calloway is a member of Purdue’s 2021 recruiting class, and attended the same high school as Damarjhe.
What He Brings to Purdue
Lewis excels at getting skinny as a pass rusher and getting wide as a run defender. Although he has the size to play nose, I see him more as a DT/DE highbred. He’s a bigger version of incoming South Carolina transfer Joseph Anderson. Anderson is a defensive end who can slide down and play defensive tackle and Lewis is a defensive tackle who can slide out and play defensive end on occasion. Either way, he adds to Purdue’s ability to mix and match defensive fronts depending on the opponent.
What I like about his tape (I watched more than the above clip, feel free to check out the rest of his work on Hudl), is his fast get off at the line of scrimmage. Check out the still frames where he is in motion right at the snap, leaving his fellow defensive linemen, and a few opposing offensive linemen, in the dust. That’s the reaction time I like in a pass rushing, disruptive defensive tackle.
New defensive coordinator Brad Lambert likes to move his pieces around on the defensive line, and Lewis is capable of giving guards and centers difficulty with his quickness on the inside and giving tackles difficulty with his power on the outside. Lewis and Anderson are both ideal for Lambert’s front 4, and their additions could be key moving forward.
This is an incredible pick up by the new defensive staff. I’m going to guess they leaned heavily on his relationship with Coach Hagan to seal the deal. On top of his ability and Purdue’s need at defensive tackle, Purdue gets better and Indiana gets worse, which is always a positive in my book.