Oklahoma Linebacker Travis Lewis has made quite a name for himself in the college football world. Since graduating from Lee High School, the local boy has come to be known as the 2008 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, the team’s leading tackler for the past three years, and now, the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Valero Alamo Bowl media staffer Hannah Case caught up with Lewis after the Big 12 Media Days held at the end of July. Read below to see how San Antonio influenced one of the biggest names in the Big 12. Following this interview Lewis suffered a broken bone in his left foot during preseason practice. He is expected to miss eight weeks of the upcoming season, but the Valero Alamo Bowl staff wishes him a speedy recovery.
Your freshman year, Oklahoma played in the Big 12 Championship at the Alamodome. What do you remember about the game in your hometown?
Actually, I was a redshirt that year and they didn’t want me to travel with them. I was so disappointed, because I wanted to go so badly. If I did play they would have had to give me 40 or 50 tickets for all my family, so they are probably happy I didn’t.
Why do you think San Antonio has been turning out a lot more college football players recently?
Schools are starting to realize that San Antonio is producing football players that are just as successful as players from Houston or Dallas. It has continued to pump out good athletes and colleges can’t overlook that.
How has San Antonio helped shape you into the player you are today?
San Antonio has shaped my career in every way. I couldn’t be where I am now without the help and support from my high school football coach. This city has given me a lot of opportunities I would have otherwise not had.
Are you able to make it back to San Antonio often?
Not really, only about once or twice a year. It’s pretty depressing.
What places do you have to go to when you do come back?
It isn’t very authentic, but I always have to go to Mama Margie’s and get one of every different taco. It’s like my religion; I even go before I visit my mom or dad.
Have you thought about how your college career would finish and how the Valero Alamo Bowl could be your final game?
Playing my last college football game in my hometown would be a dream come true, because I could finish my college career were I started it. Ideally, I want to play in New Orleans (the host of the 2011 National Championship game) at the end of this year, but it would mean a lot to play in front of my friends and family. I would come full circle.
What do you miss most about San Antonio?
I miss the people and all their different cultures the most. San Antonio has a very diverse population, but Oklahoma doesn’t have that, so I really miss it.