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August 25, 2008

Scales tip in Lewis-Moore's favor

Kapron Lewis-Moore might be the most anonymous of Notre Dame's freshmen.

The product of Weatherford, Texas was 23rd and final commitment in this class, coming aboard after withdrawing his pledge to Texas A&M following a coaching change. He didn't publicly commit to the Irish until Signing Day. And Lewis-Moore doesn't play a flashy skill position, nor did he arrive with the hype of Ethan Johnson, who's grabbed most of the defensive end attention.

Yet when Lewis-Moore returned home before the start of training camp, he stood out in a big way, at least to his mother. Packing on nearly 20 pounds of new weight during summer school will do that.

"That's the first question," Lewis-Moore said. "She wasn't asking me how I was doing. How much weight have you put on? She knew a difference."

Listed at 6-foot-4, 257 pounds, Lewis-Moore now looks like a bona fide collegiate defensive end instead of a lightweight freshman unfit for the position. While it's unclear whether or not Lewis-Moore will get on the field this season, he's worked as a back up and hasn't developed into a special teams mainstay, consider him another freshman that passes the look test.

Charlie Weis can send a thank you note to the University's Food Services for that.

"They've got me eating right, South Dining Hall about three times a day," Lewis-Moore said. "All of a sudden I just started to, 'Whoa!'"

Some of the not-too-secret staples in Lewis-Moore's diet include pasta, Powerade and cheesecake. Of course, the weight room helped too along with cutting back on other athletics. Lewis-Moore played basketball and ran track at Weatherford High School, which eliminated the concept of a true off-season.

Now it's all football, all the time. Well, at least until classes start this week. Lewis-Moore, whose mother teaches at Weatherford, said he can't wait to get back into an academic routine after working overtime at football the past two weeks. His schedule will include classes in biology and theology this semester.

"This is the first time I've ever been ready for school to start," Lewis-Moore said. "Not that I don't like football, it's just I want to do something other than football. I want to meet new people, go to class, have some homework to do."

"It's been an adjustment. You're spending practically your whole day at the Gug. In high school we spent three or four hours, a 30-minute meeting and you're out hanging out with your friends. It's been kind of rough. Sometimes I want to just sit down and sleep. But you can't really."

Not when there's a playbook to learn, one so thick that it causes mental gridlock. Then there's adjusting to all that weight gain. Lewis-Moore admitted that he feels a step slow while adjusting. Oh yeah, and going against veteran offensive linemen too. That might be the hardest part, or at least the most painful.

On one drill Lewis-Moore was forced to contend with junior guard Eric Olsen.

"Olsen just came off the ball and just flattened me," he said. "That was my welcome to college to experience. Luckily I haven't had too many, but that was a big one for me."

Now that Lewis-Moore is a big one himself, he can handle it. It won't be long before the notice he receives extends beyond his immediate family.


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