EL PASO, Texas — Turned out, the only thing that could stop freshman linebacker Ronnell Lewis was a hypnotist.
Earlier in the week, the Oklahoma team saw a hypnotist, and Lewis, nicknamed "The Hammer” by coach Bob Stoops, accidentally became part of the act.
"He was in the crowd and wasn’t supposed to be hypnotized,” Stoops said. "But he was. Then he came out of it, had a bad headache. You could tell he wasn’t all there. I walked him up to the (hypnotist) afterward and said, ‘I’m not leaving without my Hammer being right.’ ”
The Hammer was plenty right during Thursday’s 31-27 Sun Bowl win over Stanford.
In a physical game, Lewis furnished the day’s three biggest hits. Two came on kickoff returns; the other on a dump pass to 244-pound Stanford fullback Owen Marecic.
"We call him The Hammer,” Stoops said. "He has so much power and explosiveness and toughness. He’s got a chance to be really special.”
Lewis, who played most of the game on defense and finished with six tackles, was a big factor in OU shutting down Toby Gerhart and the Stanford rushing attack in the second half.
"Him playing the (strong-side linebacker) with all their big formations, they’re kicking you out,” Stoops said. "If you’re not able to hold up, they’re going to mash you.
"He held up and played great.”
Said Lewis: "I had a job to do and I did it. I done my part. It was my first bowl game, and we came out and got a win.”