Success hasn’t changed Jourdan Lewis

All-American Jourdan Lewis isn’t letting last year’s success change his work ethic moving forward.

CHICAGO – Coming off an All-American junior campaign for Michigan, some would think Jourdan Lewis would change his ways just a little.

He is after all, considered by many as one of the top players in the country and a future NFL first round draft pick.

In fact, Lewis says he hasn’t changed his demeanor at all, it's actually quite the opposite. He’s working even harder these days, preparing to get his game back and better than it was in 2015.

“I love to work,” Lewis said at Big Ten Media Days on Monday. “I love to play the game of football. I don’t want to give a disservice and try to act like I’ve made it or I’ve arrived. That’s being a terrible teammate. That’s being a terrible football player, honestly. And that’s just what I hang my hat on, that’s what I do every single day to get better.”

Lewis’ workmanlike attitude was noticed by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as soon as he took the job more than 18 months ago, admitting he didn’t know much about his star cornerback at the time of his hire.

“There is a guy that when I first got here I didn’t know a lot about Jourdan, not a lot of people new about Jourdan Lewis as a player, but I just watched his work every day,” Harbaugh said. “He really bought into ‘get better today than you were yesterday. Get better tomorrow than you are today.’ And just work, and don’t worry about a darn thing. Just play as hard as you can, play as fast as you can, as long as you can – and don’t worry – and he epitomizes that to me.

“And then all of sudden the world knew, this was an All-American, this is a great player,” Harbaugh said. “And then to watch him not change a bit. You know, his approach , the way he attacked it daily, to see him get that recognition and that attention, and then not change a bit, that’s why I knew, ‘this guy could be great, this guy can be a phenomenal player.’ He understands working and that the works got to be done and got to be realized – and the goals will come, the dreams will happen.”

Lewis, who finished with a new U-M single season record 20 pass break-ups to go along with his two interceptions in 2015, says he still has the hunger to get better, and now that he’s a senior, he leads more by example in practice for the younger players.

“I hope guys follow my footsteps,” Lewis said. “I am going to work every single day, and some of those guys understand that by doing things we’re doing in 7v7 and stuff like that. I hope those guys are paying attention.”

And it seems a few of this year’s incoming freshman have taken notice of Lewis’ work on and off the field.

"David Long has been paying attention to my stuff, I heard he had good things to say about me, I appreciate it,” Lewis said. “(LaVert Hill), he’s taking some of my advice. It’s a good feeling to see those guys competing at such an early age and such an early time in their careers.”

Then, well, maybe one day they'll be as good as Lewis. In the meantime, however, he'll just keep working. 

Michigan opens its season on Sept. 3 against Hawaii.


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