“It affected him,” Schwartz said. “But if you look back, he has a history of production at a Big 12 school. He was Big 12 Freshman of the Year. He's been on All-Big 12 teams a bunch of times. He didn't run real well, but if you watch him on the field, he plays fast.”
Ronnell Lewis has the opposite issue. He has speed and can be a feisty pass rusher. If he's moved to linebacker, Lewis' role could be a third down, pass-rush specialist and special teams stalwart.
Best known as “The Hammer,” Ronnell Lewis lived up to his big-hit personality when asked in a conference call with Detroit reporters what he hopes to accomplish in the NFL.
“Inflict pain,” Ronnell Lewis said.
But how much of an impact can he make at the next level?
Schwartz was asked about Lewis ending his career early because of academic issues, even four months after being eligible was a hot-button topic during two-a-days.
“There's been plenty of players that have struggled in school that were smart football players,” Schwartz said. “That's the main thing. How do they play on tape? Do they require extra attention?
“This is the National Football League. We've got All-Pro. We have Pro Bowl. But we don't have Academic All-NFC North or All-Academic NFL. I think he plays smart on the field.”
The Lions actually could become Oklahoma's team. In addition to Pettigrew, they have three other Oklahoma State players on the roster.
Detroit signed free agent Jacob Lacey, a former undrafted cornerback who earned an NFL career in Indianapolis. Former OSU defensive end Ugo Chinasa and offensive lineman Corey Hillard also are on the roster.
Seven in-state products are part of an organization that's dreaming big.
OU's trio (Broyles and Ronnell Lewis and Travis Lewis) was disappointed they never captured the NCAA championship. Now they have an opportunity to help the Lions end more than half a century of championship frustration.