Devotion to daughter drives former Everett star Lewis Cine as NFL Draft approaches

Cine with daughter Bella. "She's my 'why.' She's why I do it." Carlos Ruiz

When Lewis Cine’s teammates spot him around the Georgia campus, reading a book for pleasure, they’re often stunned to see the violent player they know well on the football field sitting so serenely and at ease.

“A misconception about me is that a lot of people think I might be mean,” Cine said. ”That’s not the case at all. I’m a real genuine person. It’s only when I’m on the football field that I’m a different person. It actually shocks them.”

Cine, who was born in Haiti, discovered his love for football when he moved from Florida to Everett. He has played on champion teams at every level and earned Defensive MVP honors in January’s FBS championship game.


But the 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound safety, who is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second in this week’s NFL Draft, wants people to know him as more than just a football player.

He makes it clear that his role as a father to 5-year-old Bella is more important than anything he’ll ever do on the field. Cine, 22, said Bella gave him tunnel vision at a young age and allowed him to grow up early.

“She’s my ‘why,’” he said. “She’s why I do it.”

His mindfulness extends beyond fatherhood. Cine uses positive phrases such as “I am” to motivate himself and has eliminated “I can’t” from his vocabulary. When he wins a championship, he cherishes it briefly before “closing the door” and focusing on the next task.

He views football as more of a mental game than a physical one. He also is an academic who listens to speeches, a reader who devours self-help books, and an avid journal-keeper who maps out his future and sticks to the plan. Cine frequently shuts off social media and goes for walks to clear his mind.

“I’ve always been like that,” Cine said. “I’ve always been a lone wolf.”


When he arrived at Georgia in his freshman year, his assistant coach at Everett and longtime mentor Carlos Ruiz encouraged him to leave his room and make friends. Cine told Ruiz he couldn’t risk getting into trouble, because he had to protect Bella, so he locked himself inside and studied film.

Cine hopes that Bella will someday realize how much he has gladly sacrificed to pave the way for her future. Whenever he needs motivation, he thinks of her and the blueprint they can actualize together. He’s hoping to make the transition to full-time father and full-time football player around the same time.

He has seen first-hand how much a supportive family can mold a child’s life. Cine grew up in Cité Soleil, an impoverished neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, where his mother, Beatrice Seide, preached the importance of working hard and staying out of the way.

Seide had Cine at age 16, which is why Cine wears jersey No. 16. She has never been to the United States and now lives in Chile, yet her wisdom and drive still inspire him daily.

“I remember everything about Haiti; I have a vivid picture,” Cine said. “Honestly, some of the time it was the happiest time of my life, regardless of what was going on there. Life was simple. Life in Haiti was rough, but because my mom worked to try to make ends meet, I didn’t suffer as much.”


He moved to Florida around age 4, then eventually to Everett, where his love for football sprouted. Cine realized that he was faster and stronger than his peers and that many of his skills from soccer translated to football. He latched onto Pop Warner and helped Everett win the national championship in his eighth-grade year.

Ruiz marveled at Cine’s athleticism in middle school and high school, and he sent Cine’s film all over the country.

In 2017, Cine fueled Everett to a 12-0 season and a state championship, earning Massachusetts Defensive Player of the Year honors. He then transferred to Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill, Texas, where he won another state championship, was the No. 3 safety in the 2019 class, and received 36 scholarship offers before committing to Georgia and enrolling early.

He showed his potential as a freshman and sophomore and broke out as a junior this past fall, garnering Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors and dominating defensively as the Bulldogs routed Alabama in the title game.

“Seeing him grow up, just a kid from Everett, it was emotional to see a kid go through everything he’s been through in life and perform like that on the biggest stage,” Ruiz said.

As much as Cine has accomplished, he is optimistic that his best football is still in front of him. He said he doesn’t care when or where he’s drafted. He will be thrilled whenever he hears his name.

Ruiz, who described Cine as a “softie” with an “unbelievable heart,” believes Cine is on a mission for more than just his own success. With Bella on his mind, he is grateful for the opportunity to prove himself once again and make her proud.


“That’s his No. 1,” Ruiz said. “Everything he does in life, he constantly thinks about his daughter.”

Other draft prospects with local ties include offensive lineman Zion Johnson (Boston College), tight end Isaiah Likely (Everett, Coastal Carolina), quarterback E.J. Perry (Andover, Brown), center Alec Lindstrom (Dudley, BC ), defensive back Bryce Watts (UMass), tight end Trae Barry (BC), wide receiver Tenio Ayeni (Holy Cross), offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel (BC), and defensive end/outside linebacker Joshua Onujiogu (Wareham, Framingham State).

Johnson has a chance to join offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom in 2019 as a first-round selection from BC. Once a zero-star recruit who played two years at Davidson before transferring to BC, Johnson referred to himself as a “late bloomer.”

“I still feel like that underdog kid that had to show guys that I could play football,” Johnson said. “I try to keep that chip on my shoulder.”


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