Sept. 30, 2016
Ohio State Athletics Communications
Preview of the October 1st edition of the Ohio State Football Official Gameday Magazine. Gameday Magazines are available for purchase for $10 in and around Ohio Stadium.
A helmet, pads and a coveted Scarlet jersey were all a freshman defensive lineman needed to step on the field four years ago. As he would line up alongside his teammates, there was a clear understanding to hold one another accountable in upholding the standards that the veteran silver bullets had already set. The atmosphere was more intense than what the Tarboro, N.C., native was used to, and this was just the warm up.
“At my first practice, the first thing we did was a dynamic warm up,” Tyquan Lewis said. “It was rough because I wasn’t used to doing the stretches at an expedited rate. I was so out of breath and all I could think was that this can’t be how the rest of practice is going to be.”
Lewis joined the Buckeyes with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation in 2013. However, he found out from the very first practice that everybody accepted him for who he was and went out of their way to make him feel welcomed. Former defensive linemen such as Steve Miller, JT Moore and Adolphus Washington supported his transition into the Scarlet and Gray.
“Whether I needed a ride or just getting acclimated to the schedule, they helped me in every way possible,” Lewis said. “They really encouraged us, as the young guys, to not get discouraged when things got hard because they had already been through it.”
The Buckeyes witnessed 12 players enter the 2016 NFL Draft, leaving the offense and defense with the task of filling in talent and leadership simultaneously. Now as a redshirt junior on the team, Lewis is left as just one of five of the freshman recruiting class which enrolled in January of 2013 and one of three returning starters on defense.
“When you look at their work ethic and what they accomplished before they left, they really just set the standards that everyone can buy into and trust one another,” Lewis added.
Watching his mentors come and go began Lewis’ transition from student to teacher. Lewis is coming into this season as a leader on and off the field. Last season, he led the team in quarterback sacks, ranked second in tacklesfor- loss, and takes responsibility in teaching a young defensive team the importance of working together to achieve personal and team goals.
“Everybody thinks that we are young and we aren’t even out to prove them wrong,” Lewis said. “But the main thing we want to be known for is being the best in the country. Write our names in the record books as the best to ever do it.”