ARLINGTON, Texas â€” Linebacker Travis Lewis could be playing for the Cornhuskers tonight instead of the Sooners in the final Big 12 Championship game.
Lewis committed to Nebraska while in high school but switched to Oklahoma two days before the 2007 national signing day.
Why the last-minute flip-flop?
One factor was the San Antonio product recalled seeing snow for the first time on his official visit the day the Cornhuskers hosted Texas.
"It started flurrying and I was like, 'Yes, snow, woo-hoo!" Lewis said. "But I got over it in five minutes. At halftime they gave me a jacket. I was like, 'That's it for me.' I didn't come back out after halftime."
While other recruits watched the second half from the stands, Lewis stayed inside and watched the game on television.
Playing in a warmer climate was a factor. Lewis also wanted to minimize travel for family members.
But the biggest factor was OU assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright stayed in contact, reminding Lewis which program was winning championships and Nebraska coach Bill Callahan was altering his staff.
"Coach Wright was a heck of a recruiter," Lewis said. "He kept pushing. He kept pushing. He made me think about some things. Every time something bad happened to Nebraska, if a coach was let go or whatnot, he'd be on the phone, 'Did you see that?'"
Wright said he felt good about getting a commitment from Lewis the previous summer. But once Lewis chose Nebraska he felt it was a long shot.
"I would kid him about the fact we were winning so much and (Nebraska) was struggling," Wright said. "I'd razz him back and forth in a friendly way. He took it good. But I don't know if I ever thought we really had a shot at him."
Wright's persistence paid off when Lewis, a running back, spurned Nebraska and signed with the Sooners.
All Lewis has done is lead the Sooners in tackles three consecutive years, including 144 as a redshirt freshman to break Brian Bosworth's freshman school record. With seven more tackles he'll reach 100 for the third straight season.
"He's been a great player for us and has had a great career up to now," Wright said. "He was a really good athlete in high school but had never really played linebacker. But he was a big, physical guy that could run. We thought he might transition to being a pretty good linebacker."
Pretty good? Talk about exceeding low expectations.
Even if he declares early for the NFL Draft, Lewis ranks among the top 10 tacklers in school history, compiling the second most tackles in the Bob Stoops era behind Rocky Calmus.
"Travis has been a great leader for us, an emotional leader," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "He invests every week the same. He's full tilt, all in, empties the tank. I've been so incredibly pleased with him not being satisfied by anything, wanting more, being his own worst critic."
The most outgoing personality on the team, Lewis earlier this season razzed teammate Corey Nelson for changing his commitment from Texas A&M to the Sooners the day before national signing day last February.
So how does Lewis explain doing the exact same thing?
"I committed too soon," Lewis said. "You're young. You really don't know what you want. It was a win-win situation wherever I went because I got to play with GK (Gerald McCoy). I would have gotten to play with Ndamukong Suh."
Has Lewis ever thought what might have been if he had played for Nebraska?
"They've had a lot of success since (Bo) Pelini stepped in," Lewis said. "They've made two consecutive Big 12 Championship games. That program is on the rise... But I've got two Big 12 championships and I'm working on my third, so I have no regrets about anything."