Not everything can fit neatly into a feature like the one you read on Tuesday about Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis. Here's a few tidbits that didn't make the story:
Important news first: Lewis plans on sporting a Mohawk for the 2010 season, most likely one of the broad, short variety. "I’ve still gotta look good. The ladies still gotta like it," Lewis said. "It’s going to be the nice, casual thing."
Conversely, freshman linebacker Tom Wort, who sported a bright red Mohawk for the spring game, has lost his. "He cut it off because he dyed it red and it looked ridiculous, but I think he might go back to it," Lewis said.
On the subject of young linebackers, Wort and sophomore Ronnell Lewis have Travis Lewis excited for the defense's potential in 2010, even if the other two linebacking spots haven't been sewed up. "Those guys love football. They love to be out there, they love to hit. Both of them, they’ll bring the hat to you every time," Lewis said. "The way they prepare, being in the film room, they’re not making the same mistakes every day. They’re working on it and you could see it in practice. They’re wanting to get better, other two backer jobs are up in the air, and I don’t think Coach V [defensive coordinator Brent Venables] has made any kind of decision as to who he wants out there. And that’s going to be good for our team because that’s going to take us into two-a-days and they’re really going to have to compete if they want it."
Gerald McCoy's outgoing nature inspired part of Lewis' move to become more vocal this year, but it's also part of why he wasn't last year. "GK was definitely that guy. You can see with every interview he does and just being around him, he brings that enthusiasm anywhere he’s going to be," Lewis said. Now, it's Lewis' turn to be that guy. "He’s one of those players you love to be around and you love to play next to. He’s going to show up every game and that’s what I want to model myself after."
Lewis is well aware his antics might come off the wrong way, and stressed that he's always been a trash talker. He just kept his mouth shut until he felt he was established both as a force on the field and in the locker room for his team. "I don’t think I’d proven myself to joke around to the extent that I do now. I made a couple first-team selections, but as far as how I thought I played, and how Coach [Venables] thought I played, there was room for a lot of improvement," Lewis said. "The whole spring ball, we saw flashes of that first-team all-conference linebacker. And that’s the main thing. Once we saw that and kept working, and I was able to gain the respect of the coaches and players, and they saw how I worked, how I prepared and how I practiced. And then, when it was time to let loose and do our thing, I wanted to show them 'let's have fun with it.' In the end, it’s all a game and we love to play."
Lewis is in the middle of a three-week "vacation" at home in San Antonio before returning to campus later this month. "My little three-week vacation consists of maybe going to the river, but mainly working out, getting ready for the season."