By Jim Henry
Andrew Lewis, former all-state offensive lineman at Joplin High School, is spending this weekend back in Missouri.
Lewis, 6-foot-5, 285-pound junior, will start at left guard for Oklahoma State when the No. 17 Cowboys tackle No. 3 Missouri on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
“It means a bit more to me,” Lewis said at a media luncheon earlier this week. “I was not really recruited by Missouri, so there’s a little extra motivation. I will also get to see some of the guys I played with in the area. It will be fun to see what those guys are like now, four years later.”
Lewis opened last season as the starter at left guard before shifting to center after David Washington went down with a broken leg in the third game of the season. With Washington returning this season, Lewis has moved back to left guard.
Lewis was part of the Cowboys’ offensive line that allowed the third fewest sacks in the country last year. He was named the team’s most valuable offensive lineman against Troy and Sam Houston State.
“Andrew was a guy that we beat (Missouri State) on,” Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy said. “I asked (Joe) Wickline, our offense line coach, ‘Are you sure on this guy, 240 pounds. I can’t believe all these other schools passed him up.’ He said ‘I’m just telling you, the guy can snap the ball, he’s tough and he can run.’
“I said all right, we’ll go with him, and two years later he ends up being a starter and 285 pounds. He has a great attitude, a hard worker. He’s going to be a good player in this league.”
The Cowboys are 5-0 for the first time since 2004, the third time in the last 11 years and the eighth time in school history. Last week’s 56-28 victory over Texas A&M; marked just the fifth time in the Big 12 Conference’s 13-year existence that the Cowboys won their league opener.
By Jim Henry
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