When teams head to the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament, they have a variety of goals that typically revolve around getting ready for the real season, when players don pads. But Kansas commitment Taylor Lewis said that DeSoto entered the tournament with something to prove.
"What we are trying to get accomplished is to show everybody that we are more than just an athletic team," Lewis said. "We are a team. We're sound. We are going to win. We are going to work hard for everything. And we're going to win. No losing. Just winning.
"I'm just glad to be out here in this heat," Lewis said. "I love competing, love competing."
That hard work showed up in a 40-39 loss in Friday's final game, with the Eagles roaring back from a double-digit deficit to almost pull off the comeback.
"We fought back," Lewis said. "I don't want to lose, but you have to like how we fought back. When things don't go our way, we want to bounce back. And we did that."
"It feels different, last year I really wasn't a main factor on the team, even though I was a part of the team," Lewis said. "This year, it's a big role for me. I have to step up and fill that hole left by those two guys that left.
"Bryson and Jalen, they gave me this: they said I have to step up, 'it's your time, all you have to do is step up. You have the athletic ability, you just have to work on technique,'" Lewis said.
That athletic ability was one of the things that stood out to Kansas coaches when they started recruiting Lewis. But just as big a factor was Lewis's competitive nature.
"They really liked the fact that I compete and compete," Lewis said. "When you have athletic ability, and you have confidence, competing is really not a problem. All you have to do is execute."
Speaking of confidence, the Jayhawk commitment said one of the things that stood out to him about Kansas was his confidence that new coach Charlie Weis would turn the program around.
"It's the movement that Coach Weis has and is building," Lewis said. "Since he's moved in, I feel like he has master plan. And I want to be a part of it."
Lewis said he talks to defensive coordinator Dave Campo "all the time," and said the hiring of Campo was another factor that swayed him.
"I really like the way he uses DBs out there," Lewis said. "He gives us a chance to apply our technique and go out and make big plays for the team.
"I've always loved the Cowboys," Lewis said. "That's why I was really interested."
Lewis said he hopes that he's part of a movement himself, one that starts sending state of Texas kids to Lawrence for their football careers.
"I really do think they are going to be on the rise (with Texas kids)," Lewis said. "Coach Weis coming from Notre Dame, that's high quality football up there. He's going to bring it to Kansas, and we're going to get it rolling and keep it rolling."
Lewis said he only has one goal once he hits campus.
"My plan, once I get to Kansas, is just to do whatever it takes to win games," Lewis said. "That's all. That's it."