Drew Lewis came to Colorado from two familiar places. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder originally committed to the hometown favorite Washington Huskies, but would eventually end up at JUCO football powerhouse Coffeyville Community College.
The small Kansas school hails as a Division I hotbed for players who slip through the cracks, and it was the incredible pull of then CU defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt that swayed Lewis into Boulder in early 2016. That second-chance opportunity with a “Power 5” program paid off for the Buffaloes and Lewis, who’s widely considered a key component of CU’s defense.
The inside linebacker was recently named on NFL.com’s ‘18 for “18: College Football’s most-freakish athletes’ for his physical style of play. Here’s Chase Goodbread description of why Lewis made the list.
“He weighs just 225 pounds, but Lewis’ 355-pound clean is tied for the best on the team and only 10 pounds short of the CU record. He recorded a 10-6 in his most recent broad-jump test, though he turned in a 10-10 last year. That’s an elite mark for a linebacker, as the top broad jumps for the position at the NFL combine the last two years have been 10-8 (2017) and 10-11 (2018). He can also squat 515 pounds. Lewis is as productive on the field as he is impressive in training, leading the Buffs with 119 tackles last year, including double-digit stops in seven games.”
Lewis looks to improve in his second year as a starter for the Buffaloes. Last year, he became the first known Buff since Greg Biekert in 1990 to record 10 or more tackles in the first three starts of a career. Add that to being the second-fastest in the team’s spring strength and conditioning testing for the 10-yard sprint with a time of 1.50 seconds.
Colorado has six defensive starters returning in 2018, including Lewis, who’ll lead the linebackers along with three-year starter Rick Gamboa . The duo is joined by Nate Landman and Buff Backers Evan Worthington and Nick Fisher as the core of D.J. Eliot’s defense.