It is amazing to me that Isaiah Lewis is a senior. Certainly not red shirting has sped the process along, but ever since Spartan Nation broke his commitment to Michigan State he has been one of my favorite players. He is a hard worker, a hard hitter, and a go getter. Lewis is a great young man who happens to play football at a very high level for the Spartan Nation.
As his senior season dawns, Lewis understands that even an elite player like himself has to step it up for the senior campaign. He said, “I need to have my best season. Coach Narduzzi and all the coaches say your senior season needs to be your best, and that’s what I’m planning on doing.”
One of the many things that makes Lewis special is that even as a freshman he has always tried to help the younger players. He took time to talk about what young pups impress him. “Demetrious Cox, Jermaine Edmondson. Gonna have a lot of young guys stepping in. My roommate Mylan Hicks, he’s gonna come in. Guys are gonna step up. We’ve got some players back there.”
Lewis is a talker and having played so young, he is quick to give advice to the young players. “The game has slowed down for me. For the young guys it’s learning the plays, but for me it’s just technique, doing everything the right way, and not making any mistakes.”
The usually talkative Lewis is never one to shy from a microphone. Most young men like that are also egomaniacs. Most, but that does NOT define Lewis. So is he the leader of the Spartan secondary? “I mean we have a lot of leaders back there. Me and Queze (Darqueze Dennard) are the seniors, so basically me and him are the leaders back there. But me being the only guy out there right now, with him being… So yeah I like to think I’m a leader back there. You know I’ve stepped up. Doing what I gotta do. Helping out young guys whenever they need tips on anything, you know they ask me. We can, we go watch film. All they gotta do is ask me. I wouldn’t hesitate to help anybody.”
Being a leader isn’t new for Lewis. Some players wait for the calendar to flip to their senior year, but not him. He has been doing it since he arrived. “It’s no big deal to me. I’ve always been a person, one to help people out so it’s not a real big problem to me. I feel like it’s just natural for me.”
Now a senior, Lewis can look back at how far the depth has come since he arrived in East Lansing. He admits that the Spartan staff has really stocked the roster with talent. “Yeah my freshman year, my sophomore year, my junior year, we didn’t really have that much depth. I mean we had depth, but not as much as we have now. The talent is a little bit higher. Anybody gets injured; I’m not worried about anybody that has to step up.”
Demetrious Cox is a highly touted youngster like Lewis was. Cox will certainly play this year and play a major role. So how does Lewis see Cox and his maturation? “You just look at him; first off, he has the body type. Ya know he’s big, he’s fast, he also has a good head on him, he can think. So that’s all you need back there in the secondary, somebody that can think, big guy, physical guy. That’s what he is.”
Cox told Spartan Nation about being a young player on a deep DB roster, “I mean it’s competitive, it’s competitive as can be. But we help each other. Coach Barnett preaches to help your guys, the older guys teach the younger guys. We’re all like brothers.”
Brothers is a good term. The Michigan State defense has dominated this spring. These “brothers” have owned the airwaves and shown the staff that the defense will not be taking a step back in 2013. This one thing we know. Lewis will be a leader and Cox will be on the hunt.
The MSU defense is shining and with a senior leader like Lewis and a young pup like Cox they will remain good for a long time. If this spring has shown anything so far it is concern for the offense.
The defense is as solid as anyone in the nation. Flying to the ball, causing turnovers, and frustrating the offense causing struggles with ball security are real issues. Are they issues that are caused by going against the nation’s best defense every day? Certainly, Lewis and Cox are doing their part to contribute.