Alex Lewis hasn’t played a down for the Nebraska football team yet, but that hasn’t stopped the hype train from pulling right into the station on Stadium Drive.
Everyone’s heard the reputation. Lewis is known for being big, mean and physical. He earned the that distinction on the field for the Colorado Buffaloes in 2011 and 2012 before sitting out the 2013 season.
Prior to announcing the transfer to Nebraska, he started 15 games while playing in all 24 during his stay in Boulder.
Of course, there are also the glaring off-field incident in May 2013 that have seen plenty of coverage.
Sam McKewon of the Omaha World Herald reported that coach Bo Pelini said: “Let me tell you: He went through a difficult time.
It was hard for him to handle. It was very emotional for him. He was going through a lot of that during spring practice, a lot of ups and downs for him personally, and now he can just be a kid, a student-athlete.”
Let’s hope that is the case for Lewis as he enters his junior year at Nebraska.
It seems likely that Lewis will line up next to Jake Cotton to form a very large, very talented left side of the offensive line.
The scary stat going into this season is that Nebraska’s returning linemen only have a total of 32 starts between them. That said, all hope isn’t lost for the line, even if experience is lacking.
Lewis earned honorable mention All-American honors in 2012. Cotton was named preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Athlon. Nebraska’s likely starting center, Mark Pelini, was named to the 2014 Rimington Award watch list (given to the nation’s top center).
The silver lining to an injury-riddled 2013 was that there were players who gained valuable live game experience, even if they didn’t start. Guards like Givens Price and Mike Moudy along with offensive tackle Zach Sterup also saw game action.
It will be these young men along with fullback Andy Janovich leading the way for the “Fearsome Foursome” I-Back crew.
Last season, even with injuries up and down the line, the offensive unit as a whole rushed for 2,804 on 584 carries.
Managing 4.8 yards per carry is fairly impressive considering the circumstances.
Can a young and healthy 2014 offensive line move any and all opposition?
“The funny thing is, the Big Ten, they don’t even know,” Abdullah said. “They don’t even know. A storm. A storm. They will know.”
A storm? Perhaps a Big Red Storm. I like the sound of that.
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