Every day here at Your Best 11, we are counting down to the start of the regular season with our top 150 players for the 2012 season.
No. 90: Patrick Lewis, No. 61, Texas A&M, Center
The big senior is a prototype at the center position. At 6'2" and 306 pounds, he is agile enough to snap the ball and get into his blocks with ease. Lewis cut his teeth as a true freshman playing the guard position and was able to be an honorable mention All-Big 12 player on the field.
After a second solid season at guard, Lewis made the jump over to center, and the 2011 season was a success, as he was again an honorable mention Big 12 performer.
He is agile, quick and opens up running lanes quite well—Texas A&M's solid rushing attack is a testament to his abilities. Lewis is also a quality pass-blocker, and that speaks to his ability to snap and get his base to take on the opposition.
While many will look at the new system being brought in by head coach Kevin Sumlin as a hurdle, the fact is, Lewis is likely going to make a smooth transition.
The true issue for the senior is going to be handling the improved opposition. He is trading out the "defense optional" play of the Big 12 for the "defensive line is our hallmark" play of the SEC. Handling the likes of Alabama, LSU and Florida up front will be no easy task.
That ability to adapt will be tested and could prove to be his biggest setback.
The SEC has names like Barrett Jones, T.J. Johnson and Travis Swanson looking to make the All-SEC team this season. Lewis will have to adjust quickly, with a new quarterback, to insert his name into the discussion.
It is going to be an uphill battle for Lewis to get onto the All-SEC team, but the Aggies can get a successful season out of their senior center if he can keep their quarterback upright, make the right calls on the offensive line and help open up the gate for stud tailback Christine Michael.