Former WU football players thriving in NFL

Sam Sayler / Washburn Review

While many Washburn University students find success after leaving the school, some have gone on to fulfill their childhood dreams. After playing for the Ichabods football team, Trey Lewis was drafted to the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 as a defensive tackle. Despite trouble with his anterior cruciate ligament, Lewis has had 25 tackles and one interception as a professional football player.

Similarly, Cary Williams was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2008 after being the only Ichabod ever to score on an interception, kickoff return, and reception all in the same season. Now a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens, Williams has had 12 tackles and one pass deflection.

“Trey Lewis is in his fourth year with the Atlanta Falcons,” said Craig Schurig, head football coach for the Ichabods. “It’s a battle every year to make a team like that, so it’s really impressive that he’s done that for four years and he’ll play defensive tackle for them.

“Cary Williams will be in his third year and he’s with the Baltimore Ravens, and he’s supposed to play quite a bit at corner for them.”

Lewis, the Topeka-born Eagle Scout, spent his entire college football career at as an Ichabod before he graduated with a degree in computer information sciences.

Born in Miami, Williams attended Fordham University in New York City before coming to Washburn where he graduated with a sports management major. Schurig shared some memories of when these two players sported  Washburn blue as they excelled on the gridiron.

“Cary was the top defensive player in the conference when he was a senior,” said Schurig. “He was a great special teams player, either as a returner or coverage guy on punts. I think, his senior year, I think we had close to zero return yards against us in the punting game. A big part was because of him running down there. He had a tremendous senior season, also scored a touchdown as a receiver.

“Trey Lewis had a dominating junior year, where he was probably the top defensive player in the conference. In his senior year, he was the top defensive player in the conference. He was a defensive tackle and defensive end for us and really dominated this level of play. I mean, he couldn’t be blocked by one guy.

“Both of them worked extremely hard, prepared hard, trained, and really became outstanding players and also really good kids as far as Washburn is concerned. Both those guy, really during their junior year, they realized that they had a chance to play on. They got attention from NFL scouts, and they trained to make that dream come true,” said Schurig.

Schurig also pointed out the difficulty and pressure that comes with playing professionally in the National Football League, but it has more than paid off for Lewis and Williams.

“They’re both very fortunate to have good seasons and get drafted, and they’ve worked their tail off since that time,” said Schurig. “It is a 365 day a year job when you’re competing at that level, and you’re competing every day to keep your job, and they’ve done that. They’re at all the volunteer stuff the NFL teams do.

“They don’t come home unless it’s a true vacation time, but they are always at their facilities, training, and that’s one of the reasons they’ve been able to grow as a player and a team.”