The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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36 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016 BY JOHN BORTON J ourdan Lewis has every rea- son in the world to feel good about himself. Right now, though, that notion goes into the "counterproductive" bin, along with donuts and days off. Everyone else focuses on how good the senior has become. His 22 passes broken up in 2015 propelled him to USA Today first-team All-America honors. He finished as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bed- narik awards, given annually to col- lege football's top defensive back and defender, respectively. This year, he's drawing preseason notice as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. He's mere months away from making good on a pledge to earn a degree from the University of Michigan. He's a top performer on what fig- ures to be one of the nation's staunch- est defenses, for a team considered a top-10 crew nationally. And he regards the opportunity to feel self-satisfied like he would a chance to sing the Ohio State fight song. No, Lewis insists, it's not time to take stock and maybe let up. "I love the work," Lewis assured with a compelling, to the point ear- nestness. "I love to play the game of football. I don't want to do it a disservice by trying to act like I've made it, or I've arrived. That's being a terrible teammate. That's being a terrible football player. That's what I hang my hat on — what I do every single day to get better." Such pronouncements are ob- viously whole milk to the glass of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who hails Lewis as a high-caliber performer who hasn't let accom- plishment or praise deter him from improvement. In fact, the boss let everyone know on Michigan's media day he thinks Lewis could be ready for more. That's more, as in a shot on offense, completing the triple-threat option for the Cass Tech alum. "There are multiple ways that he can contribute offensively," Har- baugh said. "We know that he can as a returner, holdup person, gun- ner, kick and punt returner. He's got those capabilities. I'm not going too far out on a limb to say he can help us offensively as well." Lewis insists he can, tossing out the idea when talking to the media at the Big Ten football meetings in Chi- cago during the final week of July. He's convinced he can help move the chains as well as keeping them immobile while on defense. Likening himself to "a little Anto- nio Brown," the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro, Lewis assessed: "I think I'm a pretty good route runner … [with] quickness." Lewis took over for Michigan's es- tablished three-way player, redshirt sophomore Jabrill Peppers, on kick- off returns in the latter portion of last REACHING FOR MORE All-American Jourdan Lewis Rejects The Status Quo

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