However, they aren’t the only guys the Tigers will miss.
Senior nickelback Dwayne Thomas was the X-factor in the LSU secondary last season, disrupting offenses both as a pass defender and a pass rusher. He finished the season with 42 tackles, 7 of which were for loss. He also broke up 15 passes and picked off another.
Lewis contributed to the Tigers on special teams last season, but he spent most of the past two years observing his fellow defensive backs.
“I learned a lot from (Dwayne), Jalen Mills, Jamal Adams,” Lewis said. “I’ve just got to apply what I learned and played football.”
LSU, DBU and expectations
Some guys come out of high school expecting to play right away. It did not take Lewis long to realize that patience was going to be a virtue at LSU.
“It’s DBU. You’re going to have to wait your time if you’re not ready,” he said.” Those two years really helped me. I wasn’t down on myself for not playing. Because I was playing behind great players and I learned a lot from them.
“Just by the plays they make in practice, I’d watch and admire them and take mental notes. ‘This is how stuff is supposed to be done.’”
But patient as he may be, Thomas has had enough of the observation business. He’s ready to demonstrate that he was paying close attention to what his mentors were saying.
“I feel like it’s a good stage to show my coaches that I’m ready,” Lewis said. “Continue watching film. Being consistent. Continue to perfect my craft.”
In order to be the Tigers’ X-factor, Lewis says he must become a consistent playmaker.
“Whoever the consistent backs are, that’s who is going to play,” he said.
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda “and our coaches are always harping on consistency,” Lewis said. “Jalen Mills, Jamal Adams, Tre White, Dwyane Thomas. They don’t expect nothing less.”