ATHLETE PROFILE: Aaron Lewis
The Tartans have gotten off to an impressive start this football season, with a current record of 5–0. Leading the Tartan defense is senior Aaron Lewis. Last season, Lewis led the team with 115 tackles, and was honored with All-America status. This season, Lewis is once again leading the team in tackles. He was also named University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week, following a game against Westminister College, in which he had a 20-yard touchdown interception return. The Tartan sat down with Lewis to discuss his accomplishments on and off the field.
Tartan: When did you start playing football? How did you get into the sport?
Lewis: My dad is a high school coach, and I started playing in fourth grade, which was actually late because pee wee starts in first grade, but my dad did not want me getting burnt out.
T: Did you always want to play football in college?
L: I did wrestling and baseball in high school, but really I knew football was always what I wanted to do. It was definitely a goal, something I had hoped for, and around my junior year I started getting recruited and knew I would play.
T: How supportive has your family been?
L: They’ve always supported me. My parents have not missed a game since my freshman year. They always make the drive to watch me play.
T: What do you try to focus on during a game?
L: Defensively, we work a lot on trying to predict offenses and learn their tendencies, so during the game I really work on just picking up their subtleties and reacting to the game. Football is really a team sport, so I am making sure I am doing my part.
T: You have done extremely well at Carnegie Mellon both academically and in football.How do you manage to succeed at both?
L: Really it has become such a structured lifestyle. I get up, go to class, go to practice, come home, and get my work done. Academics have always been important to me, obviously because I am at Carnegie Mellon, so I have just always been focused on doing well.
T: Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
L: Definitely being selected as both an Academic and Football All-American. Like I said, I really dedicate myself, and getting both of those is something I am really proud of.
T: Is there anything in particular from this season that you think has helped you and the team succeed?
L: The one thing we have done really well this year is looking back at tapes and games. There is not really much that we would have done differently. No plays that we really regretted; both the offense and defense have played well; we have not disappointed ourselves.
T: Do you have a favorite player in the NFL?
L: I cannot say that I have one favorite. I am a defensive guy, so I do like Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. Watching them play, I am just amazed by some of the stuff they can do.
T: Okay, as someone who understands the game and what makes a team good, can we get a Super Bowl XLI pick?
L: Well I am a Browns fan, and I know Pittsburghers will not like it, but I am going to have to go with the Bengals.