Senior Alex Lewis was the Huskers’ starting left guard in 2014 after transferring from Colorado in May 2013. During the summer, Lewis was selected as one of Nebraska’s six captains. His father, Bill, was a Husker captain 30 years ago. Being one of the Huskers’ leaders is a huge step from where Lewis was prior to the start of the 2014 season, when he pleaded guilty to a count of third-degree assault — a misdemeanor — stemming from a May 2013 incident in Boulder.
Q: What does it mean to you personally to be named a team captain, considering that your father also was a captain when he played here?
A: It’s a great feeling. Looking back a few years ago, I was in a dark place, and to be called co-captain with five other teammates of mine is a pretty cool feeling.
Q: When you were going through that dark time, did you think you could achieve that, becoming a co-captain?
A: Absolutely not. When you’re going through something tough like that, it’s hard to look so far down the road. It’s hard to walk the straight and narrow, especially when I was going down the wrong path, but now I’m ready to rock and roll. That’s behind me.
Q: What are your expectations for this team this season?
A: I came here to win, and I came here to win big. That’s what’s on my mind, that’s what’s on everyone else’s mind.
Q: What parts of your game are you specifically looking to improve this year?
A: I want to eliminate penalties; there seemed to be a lot of that last year. I also want to focus on my opponents when it comes to my pass set and really move along and finishing my run blocking. Like my father says, ‘You don’t go to the whistle, you go through the whistle.’ That’s something I need to get better at.
Q: With Ameer Abdullah now in the NFL, there’s a chance for new running backs to showcase their skills. How do you think they will do this season?
A: I think anybody who’s going to be behind us is going to be poised for some things. I like (head coach Mike) Riley’s system, I think that we’re going to thrive in it. We have athletes all around us ... so if we take care of our business up front, I don’t think it’s going to matter who’s back there. I think we’re going to move forward.
Q: What do you think are going to be some of the differences you will see in the offensive line with a new coaching staff and scheme?
A: Things are going to be a lot slower compared to last year. We ran no-huddle last year, it was real fast-paced. This year we’re going to huddle up every play, we’re going to take our time, see what the defensive coverage is, we’re going to be able to recognize blitzes easier. We’re going to do a lot of fly sweeps; we’ve got the athletes to do it. We’re still going to run the ball, we’re going to be able to pass the ball. We’re going to be real versatile as an offense.