Top Veterans: No. 4 Shaun Lewis

This is another installment of our preseason series on the Top 10 Veteran Players for 2011. To be eligibile you have to be a veteran player that has either started or played a significant role as a backup player. The criteria to be on this list is that you play a vital position to the success of this season.

No. 4 - Shaun Lewis, SLB
5-11, 214, So.
Missouri City (Hightower), Texas

You know the most amazing thing is that Lewis broke a string of Oklahoma State players earning Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Players of the Year in a row. But Lewis surprisingly finished as a runner-up. I would recommend a recount.

All Lewis did as a freshman was finish the season as a starter at the "star" linebacker and fifth on the team in tackles with 58, second in tackles for loss with eight, and second in interceptions with three. Of those interceptions, one set up the game winning field goal against Texas A&M and another he returned for a touchdown against OU. The third was the alert catch in Bedlam of the amazing tipped ball by corner Brodrick Brown.

Lewis is one of those guys that always seems to be around the ball and has a knack for getting it in his hands (he also had two fumble recoveries). He did it in the spring game too with a touchdown return of a scooped fumble recovery.

Named a Freshman All-America following the 2010 season by several sources, Lewis is very athletic and fast for his role on the defense.

His ascension to the top spot on the depth chart allows defensive coordinator Bill Young and linebackers coach Glenn Spencer some freedom to spot senior James Thomas in other places, and there is a good chance you will see them both on the field some and possible a lot.

Lewis is now doing interviews and the Oklahoma State fans will soon be finding out more and more what a great personality and attitude that Lewis brings to the team.

"There's a lot of excitement around here," Lewis told Terry Tush of Go Pokes in a recent interview, his first since playing at OSU. "We have a lot of expectations for ourselves, and we really don't care what other people have to say or what their opinions are. We put a lot of weight on our shoulders because we expect a lot of good things to happen here."

Lewis prefers to talk about team and not as much about himself, but that is his personality and his attitude.

"I just want to be the best player I can for my teammates, and be there when they need me," Lewis added. "I just want to make plays for the team."

You can bet he will, a whole bunch of them, and that is why as just a sophomore he is so high on this list.

Top 10 Veteran Cowboys
No. 10 Grant Garner
No. 9 Quinn Sharp
No. 8 Nigel Nicholas
No. 7 Josh Cooper
No. 6 Johnny Thomas
No.5 Markelle Martin

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