JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You’ll have to excuse Marcedes Lewis if he’s a little tired early next week. He’s been burning the candle at both ends – and on both coasts.
The Jaguars’ ninth-year tight end will have made two trips from Jacksonville to Long Beach, California, in six days. The first was to see his younger sister graduate high school and the second will be to conduct his annual football camp. In between he participated in OTAs and will be preparing for next week’s mandatory three-day minicamp.
All with the encouragement of coach Gus Bradley.
"Unbelievable," Bradley said of Lewis’ whirlwind week, which began last Saturday when his foundation put on a football camp in Jacksonville for the first time for 350 kids at Lee High School. "These guys are amazing and there are many stories like that."
Lewis flew out to Long Beach to surprise his younger sister, Nikia Withers, at her graduation from Long Beach Polytechnic High School. The ceremony began at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday and Lewis was back on a plane at 10:30 that night.
He arrived in Jacksonville at 9:30 Thursday morning, too late for the team meeting. But that wasn’t an issue because Lewis cleared it with Bradley first and was still able to attend individual meetings before the team hit the practice field at 10:55 a.m.
Lewis will participate in Friday’s final OTA and then take a 3:30 p.m. flight back to Long Beach so he can be there for the Marcedes Lewis Foundation sixth annual free football camp at Long Beach Poly on Saturday. He’s not alone. He said his foundation is flying in the five other tight ends on the Jaguars roster, as well as receivers Ace Sanders and Mike Brown and safety Johnathan Cyprien to help work the camp.
After the camp, which Lewis said will have about 600 participants, he’s having a barbecue at his mother’s house for the volunteers. Then he’s flying back to Jacksonville on Sunday.
He’ll get one day off and then be back on the field Tuesday-Thursday for the team’s minicamp.
"This is a big family so for them to be able to make it possible for me to be able to go home and surprise my sister and then be able to come back and us not miss a beat, it means a lot to me," Lewis said. "They trust me, because it takes trust. Regardless of whether [the OTAs are] mandatory or not, it’s mandatory to me."