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Most Important People #12 – Shaun Lewis

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Photo Attribution: KT King

Who he is: If Markelle Martin is the heart of this D then Shaun Lewis is its soul. Or the other way around, I get my body part sports metaphors confused sometimes. The point is that Lewis, a sophomore 4-star who spurned Notre Dame, Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Florida, and Nebraska (among others) to come be a star (and a STAR) in Stillwater is a top 10 player on a top 10 team (I have a few coaches in the top 10 which is why he’s ranked #12).

What he does: He finished second the team in tackles for loss with eight, only trailing Orie Lemon. He finished 5th on the team in total tackles (49) posting game highs against Kansas and Kansas State plus a personal high of 11 against OU in Stillwater. Also those two picks against OU and game-winner against A&M were pretty nice.

Where he fits in: Lewis assumed the starting nod at the STAR position by the Kansas State game last year and I don’t see him relinquishing it this side of getting h-word for the next three years. He’s not the type of athlete OSU is used to putting on the defensive side of the field. He seems like he should be getting a few snaps behind some 5-star at Bama or maybe running roughshod through the SEC East for South Carolina or a team like that. For Oklahoma State to have him is for Oklahoma State to have a game-changer on its hands.

Why he matters: I told Andrew McGee on our podcast last week that Lewis reminds me of a smaller Patrick Willis. He just seems like he has it, that indeterminable athletic characteristic that can’t be taught, learned, or even described.

Of his play Lewis says, “I can go unnoticed for four years, as long as I’m helping my team out and we’re winning. We don’t need flashing lights and cameras. We just want to take care of business behind the lights.”

Gundy responds, “everyone around here knows what he means to this program.” That’s borderline groveling from the head ball coach.

And trust me, the light will be squarely in Lewis’ face by the time his days in Stillwater are up.

This post is part of our series on the 20 most important people to a 2011 Oklahoma State title run. Check the full list out here.

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