BEAVERTON, Ore. – What a difference four years makes.
Now, Lewis is back on Nike’s campus again. This time, however, he is not at Nike as a player, but as a camp counselor for team Hypercool. A team that so happens to be loaded with local Detroit talent, which Lewis says, is a great opportunity for him to give back to players from his community.
“It was amazing,” Lewis said in an interview with The Michigan Insider on Sunday. “I’m just glad Nike gave me the opportunity to comeback here and try to help out some of the kids – especially some of the guys from Detroit.”
Detroit was well represented too.
With Cass Tech’s Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Donovan Johnson as well as Detroit King’s Ambry Thomas all making the trip out west.
“It definitely feels good,” Lewis says. “Especially this elite camp out here in Oregon, It just amazing to see how far Detroit recruiting and Michigan football has (come).”
Becoming a better overall player
After completing one of the best defensive seasons in U-M’s history, Lewis was named an All-American and enters this season as a favorite for the Jim Thorpe award, which is given annually to the nations top defensive back.
In 2015 alone, Lewis finished with 20 pass break ups – a new U-M record – whiach was good for No. 3 in the country. While college football is well aware of his talents, Lewis credits his huge junior campaign with becoming more “comfortable” with who he is as a player.
“I just got comfortable in my ability, really,” Lewis says. “Just go out there and play press. Just go out there and play, honestly. Just go to my original roots and just like high school and go out there and play.”
Learning to be vocal
Naturally a more quit reserved character, Lewis admits he’s worked on being more vocal throughout his career, specifically as he heads into his senior season at Michigan.
“It’s something when you learn your position, especially when you’re young you’re trying to learn the basics, you’re trying to understand what’s going on ” Lewis says. “Once you get there, it’s just spreading it around. Just making sure everyone else is maturing. Everyone else is filling at your presence. Not just you going out there by yourself, and you just going out there on your natural ability, and you going out there and playing, you know (it’s about) helping everybody else.”
Continuing success as a team
Finishing 10-3 in Jim Harbaugh’s first year at U-M, there is a lot to be expected in his second season in Ann Arbor. And Lewis says he’s up for the challenge.
“Extremely excited,” Lewis says. “We went 10-3 last year. I’m just excited to see what we do this year. All the pressure is on us. We just got out there and show up.”
Adding: “Honestly, we don’t worry about,” Lewis said of U-M’s preseason expectations. “I have some great advice here and back home, you don’t worry about outside influences, you go out there and play.
“And if we do that, we’ll be fine.” Michigan opens its season at home with Hawaii on Sept. 3.