Sep 26, 2012
By Scott Gierman
CARBONDALE, IL - Timing is everything for a wide receiver. Timing can be the difference between a wide open seam or being double covered. At this time last year, Saluki wide receiver David Lewis was a junior with four career reception for 30 yards. After breaking out for 12 catches and 174 yards in the final four games of 2011, this time around Lewis finds himself as SIU's leading receiver.
He gives much of the credit for emerging as the Salukis' number one wideout to his off-season work with quarterback Kory Faulkner. Faulkner became the starting QB after Paul McIntosh suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the fourth game of the 2011 season.
A few games later Lewis caught two passes for 32 yards. The next week he caught four passes for 49 yards, and the following week he found himself in the starting lineup, where he has remained since.
In the pre-fall camp leading up to this season, Lewis said he and Faulkner fine-tuned their chemistry.
"Pre-fall was really just about working the back-shoulder fades," Lewis said. "Three-step drops, five-step drops, we were always working on that, just making sure the timing was right there and perfect."
David Lewis leads SIU's wide receiver corps with 17 catches.
That work seems to be paying off. Lewis caught seven passes in the season opener against Eastern Illinois and set new career highs for receiving yards in each of the next two games.
With a 6-foot, 3-inch frame, Lewis has the perfect build for a wide receiver. However, football wasn't initially his sport of choice, and he might not have ever played the sport if not for another important relationship in his life.
"Basketball was my first sport, my first love," Lewis said. "(Anthony) was the one who was older than us so he could beat us up on the court, make us tougher, make sure we were finishing our layups after getting hit and things like that. It was a good experience, getting tough. I got into football that way too, just being able to be tough."
David had 117 receptions and 19 touchdowns in his prep career, and when it came time to pick a college, Southern Illinois was the perfect fit for a self-described country boy.
"I came out here on a visit by myself," Lewis said. "I didn't come with my parents. I just felt like getting far away from home would probably be the best for me. I ended up coming out here and just loving it."
Lewis is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in sports administration, and while he would like to play professionally if he has a chance, he has an even greater aspirations than that.
"Eventually, I want to own a professional team," Lewis said. "It doesn't have to be in the NBA or the NFL. It could be in Europe or anywhere really."
If that dream seems out of reach for this receiver, just give him some time.