UL senior quarterback Levi Lewis will suit up one final time for the Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday. He will leave as the school’s all time leader in passing touchdowns and wins.
While Lewis certainly has NFL aspirations, hss future plans aren’t just X’s and O’s, but dollars and cents too.
“Guys (were not) able to use their name, image and likeness in the past,” Lewis said. “So now, it’s a good thing. More guys can have more ideas. Ways they can make money.”
When the NIL era of college sports began on July 1st, quarterback Levi Lewis was the first UL athlete to take advantage signing with EatLafayette. The deal not only giving Lewis some pocket change, but more importantly, fuel for his future.
“Ben Berthelot called me on the phone that night asking me what you want to do,” Lewis recalls. “I said lets do it because that’s something I plan on doing. Me owning my restaurant is one of my 3 pillars.”
Lewis wants to be a businessman after football. He referenced his 3 pillars, which includes owning soul food and vegan restaurants. Continuing his 8181 and Flex clothing lines and helping with a Car Club in Baton Rouge. All of his endeavors, include his loved ones by his side.
“I’m all about family,” Lewis explains. “I’m all about partnership with family owning and having family ran business. I’m looking long term with this deal.”
To find where this entrepreneur spirit comes from, you don’t have to look far. His mother Celeste Smith, and father Greg Lewis, own Brookstown barbershop and hair salon in Baton Rouge.
“I like it being self employed,” Smith expresses. “It really gave me the flexibility to travel with them. Make my own hours.”
“You gotta work twice as hard,” Greg Lewis states. “It’s a good feeling, but you gotta work twice as hard. Nothing like being your own boss. You set your own tone. Its all about what you put into it.”
From an early age, Levi Lewis learned the value of hard work and saving money from watching his parents and earning his own keep too.
“My boys, I pushed them hard,” Greg said. “(They) cut grass, clean up.”
“They didn’t like it but they would understand why he did it,” Smith adds. “He would give them a check and I would open them an account. Just being able to be flexible.”
Now the roles will soon be reversed for Celeste and the family, as Lewis prepares to bring his dominance from the gridiron to the grillhouse.
“You know what? He’s been having me… I have a notebook with nothing but recipes, all kinds of stuff that I’ve been writing down,” Smtih realizes during the interview. “He was like ‘you need to put all your recipes in there.’ It’s all coming. Cause now my sister is cooking on weekends.”
“Were going to have to catch up to him,” Smith adds with a laugh and then a gasp. “Oh my God…. because it’s coming quick.”
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