Alabama fans were elated back in 2016 when borderline 4/5 star Washington D.C. edge player Terrell Lewis (then known as Terrell Hall) committed to Alabama over Ohio State and hometown Maryland. Known as an athletic freak, he was expected to serve as the understudy to pass rusher extraordinaire Tim Williams for a season before taking over the mantle.
He got some time in mop-up duty as a true freshman, and his explosive potential was on full display.
Coming into 2017, Alabama fans were frothing at the mouth to see more from this 6’5” 250 lb. cyborg whose body seemed to move much quicker, with more flexibility, than his frame should allow.
Then, he did this.
Sophomore edge rusher Terrell Hall with the INT for a TD. This #Alabama defense loves to find the endzone. pic.twitter.com/AOseB5VvgK— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) April 22, 2017
I had never noticed this before, but Tua Tagovailoa was standing on the 41 yard line when that happened. That’s interesting, isn’t it?
In any event, we all know the story from there. Lewis and running mate Christian Miller both went down with severe injuries in the season opener against Florida State, with Lewis’ injury particularly freakish: a dislocated elbow cause by his long arm getting pinned between bodies. He was able to return in time for the playoffs, however, and helped Alabama bring home a national title.
In 2018, which was supposed to be his show-out year on the way to a high first round choice in the NFL draft, he tore his ACL during summer workouts and missed the season. The Tide sorely missed his pass rushing ability in the season ending loss to Clemson in Santa Clara that season. Many thought that, considering his injury history, Lewis would move on to the NFL at that point and bank on proving himself in the league after a likely mid-round selection coming off of injury.
Instead, he decided to return for a fourth year on campus and team with Anfernee Jennings to form a formidable pair on the outside. Thanks in part to a very green group of interior linemen that didn’t eat blocks as well as some of their predecessors, Lewis had a somewhat pedestrian six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Regardless, he was one of the few steady pieces in a front seven that seemed to always be in flux. He needed a year to show that he could stay healthy, which he did, and now will have the opportunity to show out in the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
Lewis leaves school with a degree in hand, two SEC Championships and a national title.
Not bad, Terrell. Not bad at all.