New Southern head coach Eric Dooley said on Monday that he anticipates All-American defensive end Jordan Lewis will return to the team next season the days after announcing he entered the NCAA transfer portal.
During the fall, Lewis record 29 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks in nine games for Southern.
Dooley, who was hired by Southern earlier this month days after leading Prairie View to the SWAC Championship Game, told reporters Monday that Lewis would “play for Southern University” following a conversation with him.
“He’s still a young adult, not knowing,” Dooley said. “It looks good (to Lewis). Everything we do in today’s society is copycat. ‘I can enter the portal.’ It sounds good. ‘I can make a big splash; I’ve decided to take my talent here.’ Guys are doing stuff they see other guys do. And then you have people on the outside in their ear telling them what they should or shouldn’t do, and a lot of times it’s not always the best decision.”
Lewis registered a breakout spring 2021 season, earning both the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year and Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS.
The junior led FCS in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (15), tackle yardage for loss (82), sack yardage (73) and sacks per game (2.1). His performance helped the Jaguars finish the spring season with a 5-1 record.
“In my conversation with Jordan Lewis, I feel very, very confident. I always want a young man to go where he’s going to be happy at. You can’t play your best football if you are not happy,” said Dooley.