The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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38 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016 type of style, that type of mentality in those two guys." Brown's reputation gets Lewis amped up, the senior freely admitted. "Dr. Blitz knows what he's doing," Lewis said. "That's what he's great at. That's what he hangs his hat on, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to bring pressure, and I'm pretty sure the whole country knows it. "Dr. Blitz — that's a nice little nick- name. We just call him Coach Brown. He's crazy, man. You think Coach Harbaugh is crazy. Coach Brown is pretty intense — very intense." Defensive backs coach Mike Zordich brings his own level of inten- sity to the field, along with the type of teaching Lewis insists has also raised his game. Zordich backs Lewis' un- satisfied stance 100 percent, and the coach knows he can take yet another step in his final Michigan season. "Jourdan Lewis will be better as a senior, because he's got a great atti- tude, a great work ethic and he's very disciplined," Zordich said. "If he con- tinues those patterns, he'll be a better player than he was last year." Lewis has regularly heaped praise on the NFL-savvy Michigan coaching staff. He credits his coaches for inject- ing a higher level of knowledge into some decent raw material, producing an All-American last season. "Aw, man, they were amazing, just from the knowledge aspect," Lewis said. "Just thinking about what an offense likes to do — the tendencies, what they like to do on downs, under- standing formations, learning what they do in different formations. It was unbelievable how much I learned in such a short time. "Coach Zordich gave me another aspect of the game that I really didn't have. I had the physical stuff. I could go out there and play corner, but he gave me the ability to be consistent out there, through the knowledge of the game, knowing what other people like to do." Lewis supplemented his knowl- edge in another fashion this offseason, serving an internship for scoutforce. com. The website puts together prep player profiles, film, etc., for the pur- pose of helping the next wave of col- lege players get noticed. The work intrigued Michigan's se- nior corner, to the extent that he could see a future in it down the road. "That's something I want to look further into," Lewis noted. "I actually want to do it after football. I want to help kids out in my community." That's important for players like he was, Lewis noted. He certainly repre- sented no slouch as a prep, a Detroit News Blue Chip performer as a senior who went on to play in the U.S. Army All-American game. But Lewis looks around now, at rookie corners such as David Long and Levert Hill, and shakes his head. He looks at incoming freshmen around the nation and humbly gives youth its due. "They're way better than me when I was there age. They might be better than me now," Lewis offered. "Man, it's crazy how mature you see these guys. You see these guys at camps, and you see them running a 4.3 [40- yard dash]. "When I went to The Opening, we ran 4.6s. These guys are so ma- ture. They're ready. Their bodies are ready for a 15-game season. You can see these guys are ready to play right now, and they want to play right now." Lewis came into Michigan at 159 pounds, 27 fewer than he carried at the start of this year's fall camp. He's grown up in many ways, he admitted. Preparation is the key, he insisted, and he's not backing down there at all. "It's just being comfortable in my technique, knowing that if I be patient enough I can rely on my technique," he said. "I don't have to think too much. I don't have to guess on what a guy is doing. I can know what a guy is doing from reading my keys and different things like that. "That's really where I see my game taking the next level. It's just learning the game." That's where even more physically ready freshmen can take a cue from him, Lewis acknowledged. "I hope guys follow my footsteps, because I am going to work every sin- gle day," he said. "Some of those guys understand that through the things we've been doing — the seven-on- sevens and stuff like that. I hope those guys are paying attention. "I heard that David Long has been paying attention to some of my stuff. I heard he had some good things to say about me, and I appreciate it. Levert has taken some of my advice. It's a good feeling to see those guys com- peting at such an early age and such an early time in their careers." It's also good because Lewis wants to win — badly. And big. He's urging everyone on the roster, right down to the freshmen, to be ready to go on Sept. 3. "All the young guys know — we're going to compete for a national cham- pionship, if we do what we're sup- posed to do," Lewis said. "Take it seriously, man. Like me … Pro Football Focus rated Lewis as the top cornerback in the nation in 2015. According to PFF, Lewis allowed just 33 catches while being targeted 90 times (a completion percentage of 36.7) and surrendered only 126 yards after the catch all season. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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