Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2009



COLLEGE STATION – While at East St. John, Patrick Lewis emerged as one of the most dominating offensive lineman in school history, racking up numerous accolades and praise from seemingly all who witnessed his play.

“In 40 years,” ESJ coach Larry Dauterive has said, “he’s the best lineman I’ve had. Bar none.”

At the next level, Lewis seems to have picked up where he left off.

Recently, he was named second team freshman All-American by CollegeFootballNews, recognized for his stellar play at guard for the Aggies.

Texas A&M has rushed for 190 yards per game so far this season, in no small part to Lewis’ mauling on the interior line.

“I was kinda shocked to hear it,” said Lewis. “I didn’t think those honors would be for me, especially this early. I’m just thankful for the chance that Texas A&M and coach (Mike) Sherman gave me. I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity they gave me to succeed.”

Before Lewis was named a starter, the Aggie line was struggling. In games against Oklahoma State and Kansas State, Texas A&M allowed 10 sacks combined.

After Lewis’ promotion, the team allowed only 10 sacks over the final six games, including games against top defensive teams like Oklahoma and Texas.

It’s a transition made easier, he says, by his tenure at East St. John, when he became the first Wildcat football player in history to be named to the All-State team three times. At ESJ, Larry Dauterive’s spread offense carries similarities to the spread at A&M.

“A lot of the calls are similar. You know with coach Dauterive, he’s an offensive minded guy. It prepared me,” said Lewis. “It gave me a leg up in adapting here.”

His first start was truly a baptism by fire. Lewis would face Texas Tech that day in a rivalry game.

To say the least, things went well. The Aggies fired on all cylinders in a 52-30 victory, piling up 559 yards of total offense, including 321 on the ground.

Not just because of the start, Lewis said the game provided the memories that have stuck with him the most.

“Going to Lubbock and beating Texas Tech … being from Louisiana, in SEC country, I didn’t know much about that rivalry,” he said. “The seniors told me all about it. And I have to say, to see the fire, the fight in the eyes of my teammates, it was amazing. It made me want to go out there and fight harder.

“Seeing how pumped up they were in the locker room afterwards, that celebration, it’s a moment I won’t forget.”

Sherman knows a little bit about line play.

The Texas A&M head coach is a former NFL offensive lineman and is perhaps best known for his head coaching run earlier in the decade with the Green Bay Packers.

When he first saw film on Lewis, he was blown away.

“He told me that he’d never seen a young lineman finish his blocks like Patrick,” said Dauterive.

Lewis was equally impressed with Sherman – the coach was a big factor in Lewis’ commitment to the school.

“When I learned he was their coach, and that they had offered so quickly, I just had to jump on board,” said Lewis. “I love playing for him. He’s a former lineman, and I’ve learned so much from him. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

There’s still time for the standout to make another memorable moment. This one could come in front of quite a few familiar faces.

Lewis will get to play back in his home state on Monday night in Independence for an Independence Bowl matchup with Georgia – a team he should be quite familiar with being from “SEC country”.

“It’s real exciting. I get to play one more game in my home state,” Lewis said. “We’re planning on giving people a show.”