Alex Lewis seeks redemption at Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. – Five months ago during his first work on the practice field at Nebraska, Alex Lewis clashed with star defensive end Randy Gregory.

“I was hungry for Randy,” Lewis said.

He heard much about Gregory’s QB-sacking exploits in 2013, and Lewis realized that no better way existed to measure his progress than against the Huskers’ best defender. Early in spring drills, teammates had to separate Lewis, taking over at left tackle, from Gregory after the whistle. The competition befit an October Saturday, not a March Wednesday.

Off the field, though, they developed an understanding, then a mutual respect and a kinship.

This is what Lewis gained in season away away from football -- a mechanism to harness his aggression.

“I like to talk and play rough on the field,” he said, “but I’ve found my little place of Zen.”

Lewis transferred to Nebraska last year from Colorado amid a tumultuous and transformative period in his life. Convicted of third-degree assault for a May 2013 altercation in Boulder, Colorado, he saw his scholarship pulled and his association with the Cornhuskers temporarily severed.

Lewis served a prison sentence this spring, and now’s he’s starting on the offensive line as No. 19 Nebraska hosts McNeese State on Saturday.

Of coach Bo Pelini, who offered a chance at redemption, Lewis said, “I owe my life to him.”

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