Valdosta Daily Times

December 31, 2013

Regginald Lewis Jr.: Hard Work Leads to Success

Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times

Atlanta — “If you really want something, no matter what it is, if you work hard enough, you can get it,” said receiver Regginald Lewis Jr., a senior at Valdosta State University.

The Valdosta State Blazer football team had an average season just a year after winning the Division II National Championship, finishing 6-4. With the season over earlier than expected, many seniors were faced with the question of “What to do next?”

Lewis, a receiver from Forest Park, was a star at Valdosta State. Playing three years, Lewis finished his career with 111 catches for 1,319 yards and 11 total touchdowns. Lewis played receiver for the Blazers, in addition to his role as a return specialist. Lewis is 6 feet tall, 195 lbs. and runs on average a 4.44 40.

Lewis was born in Ferriday, La. He began playing football in the sixth grade but when he entered the ninth grade, football became a lot more important to him. He played quarterback for Forest Park High School and attended North Greenville University in South Carolina to play quarterback.

In Spring 2011, Lewis came to Valdosta State to play quarterback. After a spring of training, coaches felt like Lewis would be more useful to the team as a receiver and asked him to make the change that summer.

“It was a big change. No one is really ready for a big change like that, especially when you’ve been doing something all your life. It was difficult,” said Lewis.

An important lesson Lewis learned during his time at VSU was about the inevitability of people in life playing favorites.

“No matter where you go, there will always be favorites. The only thing you can do with a favorite is to become one,” said Lewis.

When it comes to success, Lewis doesn’t conform to a typical definition.

 “I don’t believe that success has a specific definition. I think each individual defines their own success,” said Lewis.

Lewis off the field is more of a serious person, who works hard to get what he wants.

“I’m a go-getter. I’m 60 percent serious, and 40 percent everything else,” stated Lewis.

Lewis feels that his drive to never give up is a strength he possesses, while sometimes he feels as if his weakness is that he cares too much for others, sometimes so much that it becomes a distraction.

On the football field, one of Lewis’ greatest strengths is that he is a playmaker. Lewis is a dangerous player who is even more unstoppable after the ball is in his hands. While Lewis is always sure to make an explosive play, he does admit that he has been working on maintaining his route running, which he sees is a fixable weakness.

Throughout his life, his proudest achievement thus far is that he has been able to prove all his naysayers wrong.

“Every time someone told me I couldn’t do something growing up, it motivated me to be better, do better,” said Lewis.

As Lewis prepares for the next step in his career, he leaves behind a number of memories and a legacy with the Blazer football team.

“I showed VSU that I knew how to work. I showed my teammates that working works, and hard work pays off,” said Lewis.

Now that he has moved on from Valdosta State, Lewis is currently in Buckhead to train at Georgia Performance with David Iron Sr., an ex NFL football player. Lewis plays to train under Irons for pro days and the NFL combine. Lewis would like to play wide receiver at the next level, in addition to having a role as a punt/kick returner.

“In football, the window that you are hot is small, and I feel like this is my chance to go for it and give it everything I have. Whether it works out or not, I know I would have given it all I have,” mentioned Lewis.

In 5 years, Lewis expects to still be playing football, hopefully for a team in the NFL.

Preparing for the NFL includes many things, and one of them includes the ability to handle adversity. Lewis has been doing this all his life, and now chooses to take adversity head on.

 “Anything you want to do in life, and be successful at, it’s going to be hard. I know I’ll always face adversity, but I’m never afraid of it. I actually welcome it because I’m so ready for it,” said Lewis.

Playing at VSU for three seasons, Lewis grew each year as a player and leader. Statistically his best season as a Blazer was in 2012 as a junior, when the team won the championship. His junior season was also his favorite one as a Blazer.

“In 2012, the team had a bond. We were like a brotherhood and everyone had love for each other. I have love for all my teammates,” said Lewis. “At the last game of the season, the seniors did the Senior Walk. My walk took the longest because everyone wanted to stop to hug me. That meant a lot to me because I felt like I had an impact on other people’s lives, besides my own.”

If Lewis could pick an-ex Blazer teammate to play on the same team with in the NFL, he would pick outside linebacker Jeremy Grable if he could.

“It’s something about watching Grable play. The look in his eyes. I truly feel like he’s a person like me. We play the game because we really love it. Regardless of a contract, I feel like he wants to play football, and that is just like me. I love to watch the things he does on the field because it’s amazing,” said Lewis on Grable.

Lewis had respect and trust for his Head Coach David Dean while playing at VSU.

“Coach Dean and I didn’t have a regular relationship. He was my head coach and position coach. Him being the head coach, we couldn’t be too close, but we did have an understanding relationship. I trusted him and he trusted me, and you can’t ask for more than that as a player,” said Lewis.

As Lewis trains away from Valdosta State, he plans to finish his degree at a later date to focus on his dream of playing football in the National Football League.