After two seasons of battling injuries, Lewis had a healthy senior campaign, establishing himself as one of the most physical cornerbacks in the West. His work ethic and team-first attitude saw him perform at a level that has professional scouts feeling that he will quickly emerge as one of the National Football League's elite pass defenders.
Lewis not only excelled on the football field, but also received recognition for his success in the classroom, earning Academic All-Pac 10 Conference honors as a senior. That undoubtedly pleased his mother, Muriel, a teacher at Martin Behrman Elementary School.
Lewis, along with teammate Dennis Christopher, was recruited to Oregon State by former Beavers assistant and New Orleans native Charlie Camp. His family was displaced to Natchitoches for six months because of Hurricane Katrina. Their home sustained significant wind damage but fortunately did not flood in the storm, he said. Still, Lewis said he'd like nothing more than to be in a position to support his family one day.
"I definitely want to help my mom out," he said. "That would be a dream. But to have an opportunity to play for any team and just make it (in the NFL), that's what I'm trying to accomplish right now."
And while he loved his days at Oregon State, Lewis said he hopes his professional playing career will prove less geographically challenging for his family and friends. "I definitely hope that one day I'll be able to come back and play for New Orleans," said Lewis, who interviewed with Saints scouts at the NFL Combine. "I hope they bring me home."
At O. Perry Walker High School, Lewis was rated as one of the top 100 cornerback prospects in the country by Rivals.com. The first-team All-Metro and All-League choice as a senior, he made 75 tackles with four sacks and seven interceptions. He also returned five punts for 180 yards and five kickoffs for 150 yards in 2003.