LSU goalkeeper Damien Lewis was drafted by the Seahawks with the 69th pick in total. (Getty)
“I just froze. “
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Damien Lewis, starting guard for the 2019 LSU Championship team, had just received a call from Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. It was Friday – the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft – and the Seahawks were preparing to select Lewis 69th overall.
“When I saw the number for the first time, there was a WA,” said Lewis. First there was the call from Schneider, then Carroll called to find out how Lewis felt about coming to Seattle.
“I just stopped,” said Lewis in an interview with Tom, Jake and Stacy from 710 ESPN Seattle. “That moment, everything froze, everything stopped. My mom, she was crying, she was beating me. So I’m just zooming out; thought of where I come from. “
“Come and be a Seattle Seahawk!” “
– Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 30, 2020
Lewis’ road to the NFL is all the more impressive when you consider where he started: Lewis had no offers when he left high school and, with his limited options, opted for college to pursue his career. soccer player.
Lewis enrolled at Northwest Mississippi Community College and quickly became one of the highest ranked JUCO liners in the country. As of the end of 2017, Lewis had 10 Division I program offerings, including LSU, Colorado, Utah, Ole Miss and West Virginia. He eventually joined LSU and became a two-year starter in the Tigers’ right guard from 2018 to 2019. In addition to helping the Tigers (and possibly number one Joe Burrow) at a national championship in 2019, Lewis and the rest of the LSU offensive line received the Joe Moore Award.
The Seahawks rightguard starting position is up for grabs after the release of D.J. Fluker (now with Baltimore) but even before the announcement, Carroll made it clear that Lewis would be in the mix to start immediately.
“He won’t leave anyone behind,” Carroll told reporters a few hours after he and Schneider selected Lewis. “He will come here and fight for it. “
Even without Fluker in the fold, it’s clear that Lewis is ready to compete – and he has a really good shot. Praised in particular for its racing lock in particular, it is more powerful than its length of 6 feet 2 suggests.
LSU RG Damien Lewis (6-3 / 335) is an inside tank that is big, strong and nasty. Very good race blocker, solid anchor and excellent finisher. It reminds me a lot of Gabe Jackson coming out. pic.twitter.com/bxmzbCVZHB
– Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) December 15, 2019
Not to mention his mentality, which should fit in perfectly with Carroll’s offense.
“I’m just a nasty, tough, nasty guy who can do anything,” said Lewis. “The guys from Maul in the race, the guys from Maul in the pass, come and present it at each game, with each twitch, I’m going to give it my all.”
Following a call by Seattle head coach and general manager, Lewis received another call, this one from quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson told Lewis that he was excited for him and that he should prepare for the competition – it is a business case, he said, no days off.
It must be a shock for a college player to receive a call from one of the most recognized players in the league, but – it’s not an offense for Wilson – it’s this first call that could stay with Lewis forever.
“This is just something I will never forget, that phone call,” said Lewis. “Really really placed on my heart. Coach Pete told me he wanted me to come play and I told him I would give it my all. From the first day to go up there and win everything; I don’t want to give myself anything. Come over there and take part in the competition… I am a winner. This is what I do, I love to win. And I’m going to come in, bring the same thing: bad, hard and bad. “
Listen to the full interview in the player below.