Terrell Lewis happy to be back, no longer dealing with 'dark days'

Alabama outsider linebacker off to good start after missing most of last two seasons with injuries

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama redshirt junior Terrell Lewis is having a lot of fun so far this season.

After missing most of the previous two due to injuries, he’s also called being back on the field a “blessing.” Lewis made it through the opener on the same field as his original injury, an elbow tear against Florida State at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that cost him 10 games in 2017, followed by the home opener.

“It definitely feels good,” he said.

Lewis is off to a good start, with six tackles overall, with two tackles for a loss including a sack, while re-establishing himself at the strongside linebacker spot.

Alabama’s only had four sacks so far, but had decent pressure, with 2½ by the linebackers. Reserve Chris Allen, who like Lewis is coming off a torn ACL, notched his first career half-sack last week against New Mexico State.

"He was real excited,” Lewis said. “He looked a little funny when he got it. It just looked like he was in awe for a second."

Here are five other things Lewis discussed with reporters this week:

1] Can you describe how tough it was sitting on the sideline for most of two years?

"It was definitely a lot of dark times, and kind of made me have to sit back and just kind of be patient and really just focusing on, 'OK, how can I get better in this time?' Instead of just moping and looking to complain basically. You can't really complain about the cards you're dealt, so I kind of just worked through it because I knew God had something planned on the other side. I just really tried to focus on getting back on the field and taking everything for what it’s worth as far as [building] relationships in football and stuff like that."

2] Can you give an example of what you mean by dark times?

"Kind of just being in watching games and practices over and over again and you're seeing guys that are not putting forth full effort and you're like, 'You don't even realize how much, you know what I'm saying, you never know when this might be your last play,' so those usually be the darkest times when you see somebody else taking the game for granted or like not really cherishing that they get to be out here. More so when you see guys complain, they get to play football and they complain about the external elements, like 'it's hot, I don't feel like practicing,' stuff like that. That was my biggest thing, watching guys and being like, 'You don't even realize that if I could be out there, I would love to.'"

3] What’s your relationship with Anfernee Jennings like?

"Me and Anfernee got a real strong bond. Coming in as a freshman he kind of took me under his wing along with Christian Miller and Jamey Mosley. That bond we built just being behind guys like Ryan [Anderson] and Tim [Williams] kind of made us grow together because we saw how they bonded and we knew that at one point it would be our time to be those edge guys. So we play for each other. We model our game just like how Ryan and Tim did."

4] Do you like road games?

"Yeah, I love road games. Just the fact that the crowd is always hype and then you can sense the energy change as you keep beating them. They're loud, loud, loud and then you start to see people get quiet and you start to see people leave. It's fun, because you know you dominated your opponent."

5] Did you ever doubt you’d get back to this point?

"I never doubted it. I like to see other people doubt me. I like to see how people be like, 'I don't think he'll be the same,' or 'Those tragic injuries might change the way he plays the game.' I don't really go into a game of football with fear. I know what I signed up for."

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