WALLIS — Brazos senior defensive lineman DJ Lewis signed to play college football on Friday to Texas Lutheran University.
The COVID-19 pandemic closed plenty of doors in 2020, but in one case, it opened one for Lewis.
The Brazos Cougars didn’t plan to play University City Randolph when head coach Ryan Roecker rescheduled his schedule after the split start for UIL teams for the 2020 season.
But Roecker added the game against the Ro-Hawks, and a TLU coach got his first look at Lewis.
Brazos lost the game 62-14 after a two-hour trip, but the endeavor was worth it in the long run for Lewis and the Cougars.
Roecker recounted the tale during Friday’s signing ceremony at Brazos High School.
Lewis was on the stage with his family, all draped in TLU yellow and black.
“This is a blessing from God,” Lewis said. “And I want to thank him first.
“I also want to thank the amazing coaches that I’ve had; they have steered me in the right direction to be able to get an offer.
“And thank you my parents, of course.”
The group included a Brazos varsity assistant football coach, Derek Lewis, DJ’s father.
“This has been a blessing,” DJ Lewis said.
Lewis finished his fourth and final varsity season, earning a spot on the District 14-3A Division II all-district team at defensive end.
Texas Lutheran University is located in Seguin.
The Bulldogs are NCAA Division-III members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“(TLU assistant coach Jody Ford) kept in contact with me each week,” Lewis said. “Coach Ford made me feel like this was a close-knit type of college, and I really like that.
“It felt like home.”
TLU was 8-2 in the final season of head coach Carl Gustafson in 2019. The Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator Ricky Matt was named head coach shortly after.