Bud Wilkinson once said, “The man who tried his best and failed is superior to the man who never tried.”
Oklahoma's starting weak side linebacker Travis Lewis has declared this to be Oklahoma's only thought coming into 2010.
Lewis—Oklahoma's only returning starting linebacker in 2010—is not only proving to be the leader of the line backing corps but of the whole defense as well.
In his first two years on campus, Lewis earned Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2008 and All-Big 12 first-team honors in both of his seasons in Norman.
Since Lewis arrival, he's racked up 234 tackles with four sacks and five interceptions.
Very aware that his stats prove his worth to Oklahoma's defense, Lewis still wants more.
"We don’t want to give up anything," Lewis said. "We want to be the best defense in the Big 12 and the best in all of football, the goal hasn’t changed."
An overall record of 8-5 dosen't sit well with Lewis—even knowing Oklahoma lost 42 starts to injury in 2009. 13-0 is all Lewis wants to see in 2010 and he's determined to do anything he can to accomplish his goal of a National Championship.
The team's 1955, 1956, 1977 and 2000 signs are all taped to Lewis's locker, reminding him of what Oklahoma has done in the past.
Lewis is well known for his trash talk. But to his team and coaches, Lewis is only known as a motivator and leader.
Breaking in two new linebackers, Lewis knows he's going to have to carry this group for at least the first few games. Yet is Lewis up to the challenge?
According to Lewis, he's beyond ready.
"I know what to do and since I’m taking more control of the defense, I’m able to have more fun out there. I’m able to go out there and get the guys riled up, and having fun playing football. I think it’ll make our team better, when people are having fun and flying around and not thinking about being tired or what to do, just thinking about going out there and getting the next hit—or big hit—it just makes your team better,"
Personal goals to Lewis are great. But for Lewis the 2010 season at Oklahoma will only be successful if he gets the National Championship he's been dreaming about since he was a child.
Will Lewis engrave himself as a Sooner legend who gained the National Championship Sooner fans live for—or will he go down as another great player who didn't obtain what they came to Oklahoma for?
Only time can tell and I believe Lewis will do everything in his power to make his dream come true.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!