Lewis all-star worthy

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

There are a lot of words you can use to describe Calgary Stampeders slotback Nik Lewis.

Talented, tough, talkative.

Fiery, fearless and flamboyant.

On Wednesday, you can likely add another to the list.

All-star.

The CFL will announce its divisional honour rolls Wednesday, and it seems certain that — for the first time in his career — Lewis will be among the best in the West.

So what would an all-star nod mean to the talkative Texan? Ask him after the names are released.

“I guess it would mean something. I don't even know,” Lewis said. “I've never been an all-star. I've been the No. 2 receiver in this league and never been an all-star. I've been up there to the top and it doesn't make a difference.

“It's your choice to make. Y'all make the choices.”

Fresh off a seventh consecutive 1,000-yard campaign, Lewis deserves the distinction.

The 28-year-old receiver racked up 1,262 receiving yards in 17 regular-season outings, making nine trips to the endzone and leading the loop in yards after the catch.

His hurdle of Winnipeg Blue Bombers safety Brady Browne, his thunderous hit on Montreal Alouettes defensive back Marc Estelle and and his bone-rattling block on B.C. Lions linebacker Adam Leonard are all worthy candidates for the year-end highlights show.

Thing is, his biggest contributions might not even be evident between the whistles.

When the Stamps shipped Jeremaine Copeland to the Toronto Argonauts in the off-season, Lewis put pressure on himself to become the leader of Calgary's receiving core.

“Six months ago, I think I was a totally different person,” he said. “I took a lot of time to think about trying to be a leader and doing some things differently, but once you get in that mindset and once you get in the action and everything, sometimes you revert back to your old ways a bit. I had a little growing pains, but everbody around stuck with me and we made it through.

“I'd like to believe I'm pretty much the same player as I was when I came in the league. I don't talk as much. I don't really call out people any more. But at the same time, on the field, I'm still the same player.”

Still one of the best receivers in the three-down football ranks.

On Wednesday, the Football Reporters of Canada are expected to make it official by ensuring he's on the West Division all-star team.

And his teammates and foes have already had their say.

During a TSN Players' Poll released last week, Lewis received votes in seven seperate categories — best all-around player, best hands, biggest threat to score from anywhere on the field, worst trash-talker, hardest hitter, nastiest player and toughest player.

“I think it meant more that one category I didn't get any votes in was most respected,” Lewis said. “I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. You've gotta respect me, right? If you're voting for me in those categories, you respect me. Maybe they just don't like me. I know defensive backs don't like me because when I go out there and play, I'm physical and I push them around.

“So why would you like me on the field? I don't expect defensive backs to vote for me for anything.”

Luckily for Lewis, they don't vote for the all-stars.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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