One-on-One With Reggie Lewis

The most interesting position change for the Gator football team has to be that of Reggie Lewis who went from being perhaps the number five guy in the receiver rotation to one of three guys with a legit chance of claiming the starting cornerback spot opposite Dee Webb. Early on it appears to me to have been a wise move for the 5'10" 195-pound junior from Jacksonville.

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Lewis seems to have a feel for covering and doesn't seem the least bit shy about getting physical with the guys who you to compete for playing time with.

After Saturday's first full-pads work for the Gators this spring I talked with Lewis about the position change.

LV: Reggie, how about the transition, how do you feel it's going?

RL: I feel it's going good I'm just trying to do anything I can to help the team and better myself.

LV: How did the move from wide receiver come about?

RL: During the off-season I was working out and knew I just wanted to get on the field. I felt like the defense needed more help, and I felt my talents were needed over there so I decided to be a cornerback and I'm loving it.

LV: Dee Webb obviously has one job at corner, but do you feel like you have a chance to try and win that other job my fall?

RL: I just want the best man to win the job. I'm over here to try and help the team any way I can and if that means being the first guy or the second guy or the third guy I'll take it as my role on the team.

LV: What do you feel your strengths are for playing DB?

RL: My speed and quickness. I feel I'm a helluva athlete and I know I can help the team in some kind of aspect and that's my focus to just get on the field.

LV: Let's talk about your background. You played quarterback in high school and you've been a wide receiver here, how does that experience help you step in and understand what an offense is trying to do to you?

RL: It helps to me to know what the receivers are doing coming from over there, but I've never experienced playing DB ever in my life. This is my third day ever trying to play it and I think I'm doing a helluva job at it.

LV: Does your confidence grow with each drill to say, yeah, I can do this?

RL: Yeah, the more reps I get the better my mind is and the better I think I'm getting.

LV: Of course as a receiver your job is often to avoid hits, now you're going to be delivering them, how do you feel about that part of it?

RL: I just got to play my role. When I was a receiver and we had to be blocking I got to bring the contact and not let them block me. So my thing is to whoever is in my way, get 'em out of my way so I can get to the ball and make the tackle.

LV: Whenever there's a change in coaching staffs it affects different people in different ways. With you having a position change, do you feel like you're new too?

RL: No, it feels familiar to me, like I've played it before because of my athleticism. It's going to take time for me to get better and my mind is set on that. I'm not one of those guys who has to be a starter or anything like that I'm just trying to help the team the best way I can.

I like what I've seen in Reggie Lewis and think he has every opportunity to battle for a starting position in the fall. Already he appears to be the first guy in for nickel packages. Vernell Brown is the incumbent and has more experience and Dawayne Grace has more potential, perhaps. But if the season started today, number 22 would see a lot of playing time in the Florida secondary.

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