LSU put together a season for the ages in 2019, and offensive guard Damien Lewis was a big reason why the team’s offense was so successful. He was one of over a dozen players on the team that will be heading to the NFL.
Lewis has spent the past two years as a starter for the Tigers. Prior to his time in Baton Rouge, he was one of the top junior college offensive linemen. Along with Lloyd Cushenberry and Saahdiq Charles, they formed one of the best units in the country.
With the NFL Combine approaching later this month and the NFL Draft only two months away, we were fortunate to sit down with Lewis to talk about preparing for the draft, winning a national championship and more.
Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: When did your team realize you have something special brewing?
Damien Lewis: It really started in the offseason. Back in 2019 during the Fiesta Bowl against UCF – the game when Joe (Burrow) took the big hit and got right back up and showed everybody that he’s really though – guys started to believe and said our quarterback gave his all for the team. People just wanted to be a part of this. Everybody started to trust each other and believe that we could achieve more, so in the offseason we started pouring our blood, sweat and tears at practice.
The Spun: You mentioned how tough Joe Burrow has been. What makes him such a special quarterback in your opinion?
DL: You know, it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with somebody like that. I was fortunate that I played with Joe for the last two seasons. Knowing him and what he means to the team, he’s someone you want to build your team around. He’s a real leader, captain of the team and someone who is really accountable. He’s also a team player and brings excitement with him. Most people love being around players like that.
Two-time NJCAA All-American ✅
2019 Joe Moore Award winner ✅
2019 First Team All-America (The Athletic) ✅
2019 Second-Team All-SEC ✅
SEC champion ✅
National champion ✅
I think that pretty much sums it up… pic.twitter.com/4HOMOjXfLG
— Thereal_Damienlewis (@Damienlewis72) January 14, 2020
The Spun: What was going through your head when you officially became a national champion?
DL: To tell you the truth, it really hasn’t hit me yet. It’s still sinking in. I’ve been playing football for a whole year now. I went to the national championship game, the White House and the Senior Bowl. Now, I’m back training. What happened in the national championship hasn’t hit me yet. I feel like the season is still going right now.
The Spun: LSU defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa this past season. First off, how great of a win was that for your team? And second, do you feel like that win will mark the beginning of LSU dominating that rivalry?
DL: Oh definitely. We had one thing on our mind and that was that we didn’t go there to lose. Everybody knew that we needed to count on each other, and everyone needed to play a big role. A dangerous team is when everyone trusts each other, so that’s what we did. It’s hard to stop a team when everyone is on board and trusts each other. That game meant a lot for LSU and Coach O. Alabama beat LSU eight-straight years, so this was something personal. We just had to step our games up and grab the moment. It was the biggest game for Louisiana. A lot of recruits watch this game, and I believe people want to be on the winning team.
The Spun: Who’s the toughest defender you’ve faced in your career?
DL: It’s Rashard Lawrence, no doubt. I see him every day. Rashard is a great player and competitor. Outside of practice we treat each other like friends, but when we step on the field it’s a different story. He’s one of the best guys from LSU.
The Spun: You’ve spent the last few years in Louisiana. How would you feel if you were able to stay there and play for the New Orleans Saints?
DL: If they pick me, it’d be a blessing. Staying close to my hometown and LSU would really be a blessing. The Saints were a team I grew up watching when I was younger.
The Saints may need an offensive guard this NFL Draft and LSU's Damien Lewis is a perfect fit. I spoke to Damien earlier today and asked him how it'd feel to play for the Saints. pic.twitter.com/F3sDktP2cL
— Chris Rosvoglou (@RosvoglouReport) February 15, 2020
The Spun: What are you looking forward to at the NFL Combine?
DL: I’m just excited to be out there with a great group of guys and show scouts that I have what it takes to play at the next level. So, I have to make sure I showcase my talents and prove I can play in the NFL.
The Spun: What would you say is your greatest strength as a player?
DL: My greatest strength is being really focused and dialed in for games. I’m also very physical and a student of the game.
Damien Lewis: Highest-graded run-blocking guard in the second-half of the season.
Born to play guard in the NFL.pic.twitter.com/U9IH0x6uR6
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 1, 2020
Scouts have raved about Lewis’ ability to play until the whistle. Throughout the season he terrorized defensive linemen.
Most draft projections have Lewis going within the first four rounds of the upcoming draft. His stock could drastically improve with a strong performance at the NFL Combine.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.