Lewis comes up big for Michigan at cornerback

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Jourdan Lewis is 5-foot-10, not exactly tall for a cornerback.

But he doesn't pay much mind to what anyone might consider a matchup problem.

His approach boils down to this: Bring it on.

"(Height difference) is not a big deal because if you have the talent, and you know you have your technique," said Lewis, who had four pass breakups in a victory over UNLV last weekend, "it's not a big deal at all. I've played with bigger receivers, I play with smaller receivers, it's all the same."

This week, he'll be facing No. 22 BYU, which boasts receivers who stand 6-6, 6-3 and 6-1.

But coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday during the Big Ten conference call he liked how Lewis defended the deep ball against UNLV.

"I think they're playing very well as a unit," Harbaugh said of his secondary. "We can get better, and it's going to need to because BYU is very proficient in the pass game, athletic. They test you with the deep ball and are good at it. A quarterback who throws it well, tall athletic receivers.

"But it's an ascending group of our team."

Lewis, a junior, missed the second half of the Oregon State game with a concussion, the first he's suffered. He suffered some headaches and was held out of practice.

But once he was back, he was ready.

"I felt good coming back to practice, getting into the groove of things," Lewis said. "It just felt normal. It's more mental than physical going through the game plan."

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Lewis said he backs up Harbaugh's opinion of the Michigan secondary because it has talent. He also likes defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin's approach, which has all of the defensive backs learning different positions.

"We have the skill to match up with anybody — we have everything you need," Lewis said. "We have (safety) Jabrill (Peppers), he'll come up and hit people and he can cover people.

"You have (safety) Jarrod (Wilson) where he knows where to be every time he's on the field. We have a combination of everything out there."

What Lewis doesn't have is what he wants — an interception.

"Pass breakups are great, but the ultimate goal is an interception," Lewis said.