He’s played in big games. He has that valuable experience. He’s a graduate transfer, but the mindset for Oklahoma wide receiver Geno Lewis was almost something you would describe as timid in his first spring in Norman.
Lewis is an east coast guy and leaving Penn State was not easy. Leaving for OU, going halfway across the country, was definitely not easy.
A lot of OU fans were pretty pumped about hearing Lewis was coming to OU. The Sooners are obviously losing a wealth of experience at the position with guys like Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal departed.
But as the spring wore on, Lewis’ name wasn’t uttered much. Nothing about his personality. Nothing about his ability to make plays. Sounds like that was all part of the plan.
“I didn’t want to step on any toes when I got here and wanted to build all the relationships first,” Lewis said. “I accomplished that during the spring. I showed I can play and make plays. Being older now, I recognize some of the immature things I did when I was younger. I see the growth.”
That perspective and growth was one reason he was nicknamed ‘grandpa’ by the other receivers back in the spring. It’s not a derogatory term, but it’s true that Lewis has seen a lot of things a number of receivers in Norman haven’t seen.
“You can tell just by watching him he has that in-game experience,” offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows the little things.”
Lewis wasn’t sure where he would head after announcing he was leaving State College. The allure of playing with Baker Mayfield was no doubt appealing, but he had to find that comfort with Riley.
That wasn’t hard to do. Once the bowl games were wrapped up, Lewis got to know Riley and got to know his passion for the game and knew this was the spot where he wanted to be.
Spring was a good transition for Lewis, but now the transitioning phase is done with. He knows that. No excuses. No troubles off the field or in the classroom, Lewis knows it’s about what he does on the field.
“I was still trying to find my way (in the spring),” Lewis said. “Coach Riley made it a little bit easier for me, and it definitely got me a lot more comfortable. This is my last year playing college football, and I’m going to give it all I got.”
Lewis sees himself as a mentor to guys like A.D. Miller and Dahu Green, but he knows he can be more than just that wise voice in the locker room.
The key? Keeping up with the tempo. Lewis said when it comes to style of play, there is no comparison between OU and Penn State. And he’s still getting adjusted to that but knows it will come in time.
“I still think I can play a little faster,” Lewis said. “You just have to go out there and keep getting reps. You have to play fast in this offense.”