Three-star defensive end, Pat Lewandowski (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley), officially became a member of the Jayhawk family yesterday morning when he signed his National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Kansas on a football scholarship. The 6-6, 245 pound lineman has come a long way since tearing his ACL early during his junior campaign which led to Lewandowski being a bit unknown as a college prospect. That fact quickly changed once Lewandowski took the field in 2009.
While his Blue Valley West (KS) teammates were on the field in 2008, Lewandowski was busy rehabilitating his knee after suffering a torn ACL shortly after practice began for the 2008 season. Although the injury was certainly a set back, Lewandowski quickly put it behind him and began working hard to get healthy and back on the field with his teammates. At the time of his rehabilitation his recruitment wasn't even a concern for Lewandowski.
"I was more focused on getting back on the field and rehabbing my knee," said Lewandowski about being concerned that his injury would hurt his recruitment.
Lewandowski's rehabilitation was a lengthy process and getting back to 100 percent can sometimes take more than a year for most. During the early summer of 2009, a not yet 100 percent healthy Lewandowski once again found himself on the field participating in a few combines. In fact, it wasn't until after he had played a few games this past season that he felt comfortable with the health of his knee.
"I was about 85-90 percent healthy during those combines," said Lewandowski. "Once we got into a few games I wasn't worried about it," he added.
It also took a few games for there to be no more worries about his recruitment. In addition to Kansas, Lewandowski was being pursued by both Kansas State and Nebraska. However, in the end, it was the Kansas coaches that made KU the place for him.
"It was just the coaches and everything," said Lewandowski about why he chose Kansas. "They are great coaches, and I'm excited to play for them," he added.
KU also captured Lewandowski's attention with the, still new, football facilities located near Memorial Stadium.
"Those are some of the nicest facilities I've seen," said Lewandowski.
Lewandowski isn't the only athlete in his family. His brother, Robert, currently plays basketball for Pat Knight and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Robert, a sophomore at Tech, is listed at 6'10'', and according to Pat he may have grown another inch in the past year. As a football player, Pat would prefer that he not have the same growth pattern as his brother.
"I hope I don't," said Pat about growing as tall as his brother. "I picked the wrong path if I grow that tall," he added.
Lewandowski's other sibling, a sister, isn't the athlete that her brothers are. Instead, she chose a very different path in life. She is currently working to become a nun, which is something that didn't come as a surprise to Lewandowski.
"Yeah she is studying to become a nun," Lewandowski said. "It was a big shock for my parents, but I kind of saw it coming. It didn't surprise me at all. I couldn't be more proud of her," added Lewandowski.
Now that his future plans are in place, Lewandowski is excited about arriving at Kansas and becoming active in the training program. Currently Lewandowski weighs in at 245 pounds, but he's hoping that the Kansas training program will get him to around 260 pounds for a playing weight.
"I would like to get up to around 260 pounds," said Lewandowski. "I would work out every day if I could," he added.
The good news for Lewandowski is that once he arrives at KU, having the time to hit the weights won't be hard to come by.
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