As the 1980s dawned on the University of Alabama, Walter Lewis played as a Crimson Tide quarterback from 1980 to 1983.
Lewis shared quarterback duties with two others as a sophomore in 1981. He tossed the eventual game-winning touchdown to Jesse Bendross against Auburn to help Bear Bryant earn his record-setting 315th career coaching victory.
As a junior in Bryant's final season in 1982, Lewis passed for 1,515 yards and nine touchdowns. His 62.2 percent completion percentage (minimum 100 completions) that season remains a single-season school record.
Under first-year head coach Ray Perkins in 1983, Lewis passed for 1,991 yards and 14 touchdowns to earn All-Southeastern Conference honors. However, he also tied a single-season school record with 15 interceptions.
In the 1983 Sun Bowl against fifth-ranked SMU, Lewis passed for 148 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown as Alabama pulled off the 28-7 upset victory. For his efforts, Lewis was named the game's MVP.
When his Alabama career was complete, Lewis left Tuscaloosa as the all-time leader with 5,690 total yards (4,257 passing, 1,433 rushing). This record stood until 2001. However, Lewis remains the only Crimson Tide quarterback to pass for over 4,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a career. He totaled 29 career passing and 13 career rushing touchdowns.
Lewis was selected by New England in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft. However, he opted to play for the Memphis Showboats of the USFL. Lewis totaled 3,455 passing yards and 31 touchdowns in two seasons with Memphis.