"I've learned a lot over the last year and a half about giving back being a small town guy. Now having the opportunity to play in Tulsa, I get to be around my family and the community I grew up in. I want to help in the community, mentor youth, and give back in any way that I can," Lewis said.
While playing for Dewar High School, Lewis received numerous awards including: SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar All-American (top 250 nationally), First-Team Tulsa World All-State, and First-Team Oklahoma All-State (offense and defense, unanimous). He was also selected to play in the ESPN Under Armour All-Star game. He was named Mr. Football Oklahoma for the small schools in 2008 when he rushed for 2,219 yards on 150 rushes and had 33 touchdowns.
"Having a local product like Ronnell is huge for our organization as well as for Tulsa. We have brought in the best of the best when it comes to local talent, highlighted with the addition of Lewis. With his experience, size, and athletic ability, Lewis will be a force to be reckoned with in the CPIFL," stated Head Coach Derek Rasmussen.
Lewis was a powerful force at the University of Oklahoma during his time there. In just three seasons, Lewis amassed 118 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 2 interceptions (including a 12-yard touchdown return). Lewis found a name for himself in the 2009 Sun Bowl amongst the Sooner faithful with his two bone-crushing hits on kickoffs against Stanford. He was named Big XII Player of the Week with his 9-tackle, one interception game against Texas A&M. He has recently returned back home to Oklahoma and is looking forward to the 2014 season with the Defenders.
Lewis added, "Now with the Defenders, I can showcase my talent. I want to take a leadership role and keep the other guys motivated and hyped-up to play the game we love and enjoy, and have fun while doing it."
The Defenders 2014 campaign is set to kick-off on Saturday, March 1 at 7:05 p.m.at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, OK against the Kansas Koyotes. Season tickets are now on sale starting at $30. To purchase your season tickets, call 918-403-9926. For more information about the Defenders, visit oklahomadefenders.com or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@OKDefenders).