Melvin Lewis is straight outta Compton, but he made his way to Kentucky.
The 6-foot-4, 332-pound defensive tackle is starting for the Wildcats and has graduated, but he was not always in such a prime position.
Lewis grew up in Compton, Calif., a city not only known for the musical talent it has produced, but also for its violence.
The Compton streets were plagued with drugs and gangs, and Lewis’ parents refused to let Lewis fall into that negativity.
As a result, sports became a safe haven and a way out for Lewis.
He attended Fullerton College after graduating from Compton High School. Although he had talent, he had room to improve in the classroom.
After his performance at Fullerton, Kentucky called him.
However, Brumbaugh did not let Lewis’ mindset prevent him from recruiting him.
Lewis is a leader on and off the field, and he knows just how far he has come.
He redshirted in 2013, but started all 12 games in 2014, racking up 37 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Lewis caused a fumble against Mississippi State and shared a sack against Florida.
He was the only returning starter on the defensive line this season.
The journey from the streets of Compton to Lexington hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.
“I’m just grateful for everyone that was behind me, and I’m grateful for everyone that gave me an opportunity to be here,” Lewis told secsports.com.
— UKSTOOPSTROOPS (@ukstoopstroops) September 8, 2015