NORMAN — Travis Lewis isn't sure where he'll get picked in this week's NFL Draft; he's just excited about the process.
Lewis (6-foot-2, 227 pounds), who recorded 445 tackles and nine interceptions over his four-year career at Oklahoma, said he's hearing he could be picked anywhere from the second to the fifth round.
Lewis recently was named an ambassador for the National Sports Leagues of America, which aims to help athletes who have sustained serious injuries on the playing field. The program, launched this year and based out of California, is funded through donations.
Lewis, who was at OU's spring game on April 14, spoke with The Oklahoman about his NFL Draft status, the OU spring game and his efforts to help the NSLA.
What are you hearing about your draft status, and what teams have expressed interest?
“New Orleans has been interested; Detroit's been interested — I've worked out for them. The Eagles and San Francisco have also been interested.
“As far as my stock and where I'll go, I don't know. I'm just excited about the whole process. It's not about where you get drafted; it's about what happens after you get drafted.”
Did you grow up a fan of any team, and is there a team you'd like to play for?
“I grew up in Texas, so I'm a big Dallas Cowboys fan. But as far as favoritism, there is none. I just want to get a job and be able to realize my dream of playing at the next level. I get to work out, eat right and play football for a living now; it's gonna be a dream come true no matter what.”
What do NFL scouts say they like about you?
“My body size. Everybody knows I love to work out, and I showed up at pro day in great shape. They said I was as lean as they've ever seen. They've really liked my work ethic, the way I've moved in my position drills and they way I've carried myself in general. Teams are speaking pretty highly of me.”
How did you think OU looked at the spring game?
“I think we look good. I know there were a couple guys banged up, especially on defense, but I'm really excited to see what OU's got this year.”
From your perspective, have you noticed any big differences with Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator?
“I know from talking to some of the defensive guys, the defense has been simplified a lot. They like that.”
Now that you've had some time to reflect on your senior year, do you have any regrets?
“No, not at all. We won 10 games. We had some injuries, but I got to play football for OU for four years. There's nothing I regret about that. I had some of the best years of my life. I gave them everything I had; they appreciate me for it. I can look back on my career and say I did something special. I'm proud of it.”
Does watching a guy like Adrian Peterson donate $1 million to the university inspire you, especially since you're about to be drafted?
“Definitely. I was talking to Mr. Castiglione there on the sideline (at the spring game), and I was like, ‘OK, let's wait for my check.' That's one of my biggest dreams is bringing my kids back to OU and letting them experience a game and showing them the field their dad played on.”
What made you want to get involved with the NSLA?
“It's right up my alley. It helps injured athletes that experience major, catastrophic injuries on the football field and helps them pay for those injuries. It gets the knowledge out there about injuries like this and about how violent our sport is.”
Was there any injury in particular you thought of when you agreed to help?
“Mainly when I think of injuries like this, I think of the guy from Rutgers, Eric LeGrand. He's a big-time guy that had an injury like this and really could've used this help. I've had friends that have had bad injuries, so it's something that I jumped right in and said, ‘How can I help? How can I get this out there?' I'm excited about it.”