By BEN JOHNSON
David Lewis is not particularly fond of sitting idly by and watching his teammates practice without him. If there's a chance to practice or play, he'd rather be a participate rather than a spectator.
Yet, during Northeastern State's spring practice earlier this year, he was relegated to the sidelines in order to obtain an extra semester of football in the fall.
"I got to sit back and see what life was like as a regular student," Lewis said. "But it was kind of boring. I missed football."
Lewis' lack of practice time didn't keep him away completely, though.
"I came out to every practice and couldn't do anything but just watch," said Lewis, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound cornerback for the RiverHawks. "I just came out to support my teammates."
Lewis wasn't the only NSU cornerback to endure a sabbatical in March and April. Fellow cornerback Vernon Jones also sat out while mentioning the displeasure he got from not being able to throw on the pads.
"You're just like a coach, man," Lewis said. "You still everything and want to be a part of it. It's not fun watching."
With that said, Lewis sucked it up and made the most of his observation period prior to his senior campaign.
"Just got more mental reps," he said. "I was just going over, if I was out there, what would I be doing? Then also learning not only my position but everyone else's on defense. I feel like that will come in handy next year."
According to NSU head coach Kenny Evans, Lewis is well-versed with everyone's spot on the field.
"He probably knows everyone's spot in the secondary," Evans said. "He's also played at the linebacker spots when we go to nickel and dime coverages, at times."
Not bad for a player who walked on when he first arrived in Tahlequah.
"David initially walked on to our program when he first got here," Evans said. "He earned his scholarship and earned a lot of playing time. He's been a fixture in our special teams, and he's probably been one of our main components on all of our special teams."
When he's not assisting on kick coverage, Lewis will be in competition for a second starting spot at cornerback, opposite of Jones' side of the field. Evans said it's likely to come down to Lewis or Marquin Watts at the second corner spot.
"Him and Watts have both done some great thing," Evans said. "We feel like we have some depth, and a lot of them are older players. We were so young last year and now they're older and know what to do after being in the MIAA for a year."
As a junior in 2012, Lewis made eight starts and played in all 10 games for the RiverHawks. He recorded 36 tackles and four pass break-ups. But Lewis knows his numbers last season don't guarantee a starting spot this year.
"It'll be a toss-up," Lewis said. "It's whoever wants it, man. I put myself in position to be in great shape to start on that other side. It's just going to be a competition of who wants it the most."