ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It didn't take much drama or convincing for cornerback Jourdan Lewis to decide to return to Michigan for his senior year. In fact, he maintained through the later half of the season that he planned on returning.
Staying true to his word, the U-M defense is exponentially better with him on the roster.
With spring practice fully underway, it appears Lewis is picking up where he left off a season ago. According to secondary coach Mike Zordich, having a defensive scheme stay the same despite a coordinator change will do wonders for a players confidence.
"He's doing a hell of a job (in practice,)" Zordich said of Lewis. "The kid works hit butt off and he's been playing really well this spring. I think part of his comfort is now its year two in a system and he pretty much knows (the schemes,) there one new coverage we've put in that's kind of changed things. It's a fun coverage for the corners, it's a fun coverage for the secondary. I think the comfort level playing press-man last year and coming back and doing it again this year is where his comfort is."
Perhaps Zordich wasn't fully aware of what he had with the defensive backs last season. Lewis showed flashes of his talent during the early parts of his career but last season is where everyone saw it all come together. According to Zordich, he saw that talent by simply watching film.
It wasn't just Lewis either, it was the other familiar names that impressed on tape, too.
"Being honest watching the prior year on film, we watched all the games, he was impressive then," Zordich said. "I was impressed with him, Strib (Channing Stribling,) (Jeremy) Clark, those guys to be able to play man the way we want to play man. To be able to handle that transition last year, that was impressive. All three of those guys. Now the carry over is very helpful."
How do you make an All American corner better? Well, for lack of better words, you just don't. When asked what Lewis needs to improve this season, Zordich had to dig deep in order to find an appropriate answer.
Which, by all means, is a very good thing.
"That's a tough question," Zordich said with a wry smile. "He's pretty dang good at what he does and I think the biggest thing for him is maintaining that level of play that he has, staying competitive. If I was being critical of him, it'd be the use of his hands down field. He's doing really good things."