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Wisconsin football recruiting: UCLA WR Keontez Lewis transfers to UW

The Badgers have landed a former three-star wide receiver with multiple years of eligibility remaining from the transfer portal.

Lewis (No. 18) is headed to Madison!
Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Already landing two cornerbacks via the transfer portal this month, the Wisconsin Badgers had been actively pursuing wide receivers too. Well, on Tuesday night, just minutes after earning a commitment from UCLA cornerback Jay Shaw, the Badgers raided the Bruins once again, this time for wide receiver Keontez Lewis.

A rising sophomore, Lewis played only one season at UCLA. Lewis originally joined the Bruins as an early enrollee in the 2021 recruiting class, and has three years of eligibility remaining with the Badgers after playing in 11 games last season. While he did not record a reception, the fact that he saw the field as a true freshman is encouraging. Add in the fact that he could potentially participate in spring ball, and this appears to be a nice addition.

Lewis is a native of East Saint Louis, Ill. As a high school recruit, he originally picked UCLA over other offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Vanderbilt among others.

The Badgers will be looking to replace three of their top four receivers on the depth chart this off-season with Danny Davis, Kendric Pryor, and Jack Dunn all exhausting their eligibility, leaving plenty of playing time available. Chimere Dike and Markus Allen are both expected to take on bigger roles this spring, but Lewis should provide more competition for players like Skyler Bell, AJ Abbott, Stephan Bracey and Isaac Smith.

At 6-foot-3 and around 200 pounds, Lewis fits the profile that Alvis Whitted has targeted since joining the staff. A bigger player that was a highly sought-after three-star recruit coming out of high school, Lewis is someone that could compete for immediate playing time once he gets on campus.

On film, Lewis flashes an ability to use his wingspan and frame well, and he does a nice job of catching the ball away from his body. How he adapts to a new playbook and route tree will be something to watch, but if he can catch on quickly, it would not be a surprise to see him on the field as soon as 2022. In the era of the transfer portal, I can’t imagine he makes the move to come to Wisconsin to sit on the bench.