Pinetops NC – Tarboro High alumnus Lewis taken in second round by Indianapolis Colts – Rocky Mount Telegram

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By SAMUEL EVERS
Sports Writer

Friday, April 27, 2018

PINETOPS — In the formidable words of Tyronda Whitaker, the single mother who taught herself to throw a football so she could teach her son to do the same, who raised an eager five-year-old from Tarboro, North Carolina, to Columbus, Ohio, to his new career in Indianapolis, Indiana: “We’re going to the house that Peyton built.”

With the 64th pick and the last selection of the second round of the 2018 NFL draft on Friday night, the Indianapolis Colts ended the nervous speculation among family and friends in a one-story home on a quiet country road in Pinetops, trading up to select former Viking Tyquan Lewis, the 6-foot-3 defensive end and graduate of Ohio State University, who became with the announcement the next in the Tarboro family to reach the NFL.

A nervous mess in a white T-shirt, a red hat, jeans and Nike sneakers, Lewis was mum from the moment he turned on the T.V. for the 7 p.m. start of the second round. Names were called from the SEC, the BIG 10, the ACC, and elsewhere, all to little reaction from the soon to be professional.

But something was up — and even he couldn’t hide it — when just after 9 p.m. his phone rang.

“As soon as I saw him put his hand on his head and put his head down, I was like — that’s it,” said Delvin Jones, who graduated with Lewis in 2013.

He answered; it was the Colts general manager, Chris Ballard, with a simple statement followed by a release of an emotion few get to feel.

“He goes, ‘Hey Tyquan, we’re excited to have you as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.’ I’ve never had a feeling like that — never in my life. Life changing,” said Lewis, who won state championships in high school and a national championship with Ohio State. (Read more)

WATCH TYQUAN LEWIS REACT TO REALIZING HIS NFL DREAM – From Tarboro To Ohio To Indianapolis

Congrats! Tyronda Whitaker and Tyquan Lewis I am so proud of Tyquan but more proud of Tyronda because you were there along with taking your other children. I love your dedication. You sacrificed and put the time in. I go to local high school games and volunteer my time videoing and taking photos of other folk children when the do not even come out and support their own. Every time I seen mom posting she was heading out to support her son I was happy. A real parent support their children. Tyronda I say thank you! Again congrats to the both of you!
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Tyquan Lewis Put NFL on Hold to Give His Mother a Season of ‘One Last Times’– TheOZone

The Watch Dog response: Tarboro NC native  (Tarboro High School stand out) makes a huge decision. I remember him so well playing against SouthWest Edgecombe and other schools. I know his mom Tyronda Whitaker is proud of him and support whatever he chooses to do.

Some version of this tale is told every year.

A talented college football player leaves early for the NFL because he wants to take care of his family. He wants to give the world to his mother and an NFL paycheck is the start of that. He says goodbye to his college life and welcomes in his next step, doing it as much for his family as himself.

It’s a story that actually becomes storybook.

Some stories, however, include a little bit of a twist.

Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis had a decision to make regarding his NFL future following the 2016 season. He had one year of eligibility remaining, but he was coming off of a season where he was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Lineman of the Year. The NFL was certainly interested. (Read more)