By SAMUEL EVERS
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)