December 14, 2010

Lewis: Fastest player on team?

MADISON - If you were to line up freshman Jeff Lewis and ask him to run a certain distance, there aren't many people on the football team that could keep up with him.

The freshman running back is that fast.

At the conclusion of a recent bowl prep practice, had an opportunity catch up with the first-year Badger. The following is a question and answer with Lewis.

Well, you've been through basically a full season, what's it been like now that you're in bowl prep here?

Lewis: It's truly been an experience. I love it to death because we're all working. I like to say that nobody is working harder than us because we come in here and we grind everyday. It's just a part of the game so I'm liking the experience.

You are getting into the developmental portion here. That's got to be pretty fun instead of just doing scout team stuff all the time.

Lewis: It is, it is. It's nice to get back in the groove because it's kind of like fall camp. Now I know a lot more about the game and I'm just learning each and every week. Now I'm just trying to contribute it to the field.

When you look back at the course of the season and you look at yourself and your game in fall camp, where have you improved the most?

Lewis: The most is just slowing down and waiting for the blocks to develop. It's just learning the speed of the game because you don't always have to go full speed. You have to wait for things to develop. It's just much different in college.

Do you like your vision? Do you feel like that's coming along?

Lewis: It's coming along. It can still get better, but it's 10 times better than it was during fall camp.

Obviously nobody has seen you play at the collegiate level, but how would you describe your game and what do you bring to the table?

Lewis: Balance with speed and elusiveness. Hopefully I can show some of that next year.

Are you powerful?

Lewis: Yeah, yeah, I've got some power, too. I'm just trying to balance it all out.

These guys are telling me that you might be the fastest back on the team.

Lewis: I hope so man. I've just got to keep that speed up like coach Ben Herbert said. I will probably be the fastest guy on the team coming up these winter workouts. He wants me to always be first and that will be my goal this year. I just want to win every thing I do.

Are you the fastest guy on the whole team?

Lewis: Just about, yeah. I guess arguably.

Just line up and nobody can beat you running the 40?

Lewis: Kyle Jefferson right now, but I think I've got everybody else.

Just talk about the school aspect of it. How has school been going for you and with finals coming up how are you able to balance that?

Lewis: It hasn't been too hard. I came from a really good school district in Brookfield (WI). I've been trying to look over my notes and review my books when I have time. It's not too bad if you stay on top of things.

Now that you've seen a guy like James White, a freshman, make an impact like that, does that kind of motivate you?

Lewis: It is, probably because we came in here and we both grinded it out. I'm happy for whatever James does and accomplishes. 1,000 yards as a freshman? That's amazing. He's a fantastic player. I just try to learn from him, too. Everybody has something different to bring to the table. Whenever you can keep learning every day and add it to your game, nothing but good can come out of that.

There's a different dynamic about these running backs. Whenever you think Wisconsin football you think of big bruising backs. Whether it's Ron Dayne, John Clay or whoever it is, but now you have guys like John, a bruiser, and James, a guy that can get in there and shift it up. I'm sure you're a little shifty, too.

Lewis: It's good because college football is kind of changing like that. The NFL has the three backs that rotate. Everybody brings something different to the table. I like that.

It's pretty dynamic.

Lewis: It is. It's very dynamic. It keeps the defense on their toes and they have to respect every player because everybody brings something a little different.

It's pretty impressive when this offense is putting up 70 points.

Lewis: It's crazy, man. Everybody thinks we're running up the score but like coach Bret Bielema says, it's our two's and three's coming in and doing that. We've just got to keep that up and carry it over into the bowl.

Obviously your first year on campus, but you guys win a Big Ten title. You were obviously a part of it in the scout team but you never really got out on the field. Do you still take pride in that?

Lewis: I do, I do. A lot of people don't see what goes on behind the scenes but everybody on this team knows what the scouts contribute and what they do. Just to be a part of something so great is truly a blessing.

Who is your favorite player to scout this year? You were Denard Robinson weren't you?

Lewis: Yeah, I was Denard Robinson and Terrelle Pryor. It was nice being those two cats. I can't really throw that well but I can give them a look with my speed. I just did the best that I could do.

Are you going to be able to travel out there?

Lewis: Yup, yup. It will be different being away from home on Christmas, but like coach B said, Christmas comes every year and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To be a part of it, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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