Ohio State redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis is currently sitting out spring practice as he rehabs from offseason shoulder surgery. What most probably don’t know is Lewis actually suffered the injury — which he described as “his labrum and some other stuff” — during the spring of 2015.
That means Lewis played through all of last year with a serious injury to his shoulder — you probably noticed the brace he wore — and still led the Buckeyes with eight sacks and was second on the team with 14 tackles for loss.
“I didn’t really think about it,” Lewis said of his injury Thursday after Ohio State's 10th practice of the spring. “I was in rehab all day every day so I was just grinding it out.
“I just love playing.”
That’s precisely why it’s so difficult for Lewis to sit on the sidelines this spring as he recovers from the surgery he had in January to repair his shoulder.
“It’s the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do, watching from the sidelines,” he said. “So I just try to play my role: Lead the young guys, try to teach them the right way and stuff. I don’t really try to be down on myself because of what happened.”
Lewis said he has been back working in the weight room for the last two weeks and by next week he expects to have no restrictions during lifts. When asked if he will be full-go and 100 percent by the time Ohio State’s fall camp rolls around in August, Lewis said, “For sure. I expect to be 100 percent by the end of the semester.”
So in case you were panicking because you hadn’t heard Lewis’ name much this spring, don’t. The Buckeyes’ lone returning starter on the defensive line expects to be good to go within the next month or so.
“He’s a tough guy, he’s a mentally tough guy,” Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said of Lewis. “He’s got great leadership skills and we can’t wait for him to get back on the field; we’re just holding him out for spring. His role right now with the young guys has been tremendous, really tremendous.
“Tyquan is going to be a factor for us in the fall.”
The Buckeyes will depend on Lewis when next season rolls around as they try to replace the likes of Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington up front. He’ll have some help, too, with fellow ends Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes now firmly in the mix.
But right now, the most frustrating part for Lewis is he can’t build off his breakout redshirt sophomore campaign.
“Just wanting to be out there because you play a whole season and you just want to keep building off it,” Lewis said. “Setbacks happen so just gotta overcome it.”