August 6, 2008

Best friends Featherston, Lewis in tight battle

While almost everyone is looking to the competition at quarterback this August between Stephen McGee and Jerrod Johnson, many are forgetting about the one brewing at the "quarterback of the defense" position. Juniors Matt Featherston and Anthony Lewis were both moved to middle linebacker under the new 4-3/3-3-5 hybrid defense and are battling each other for the spot.

Featherston took control of the top spot on the depth chart early in the spring, but Lewis battled back by the time spring drills were finished. In August, the two seem to be in a dead heat. But to them, it's not much of a battle at all. It's just a friendly competition between two guys that consider each other best friends and brothers.

"That's like my brother. Before we had our exit meeting coach said that he feels confident whether either me or him in the starting position, so if he's out there one game or I'm out there when game I know he knows what to do," Featherston said. "It's not like any kind of rivalry toward each other. Both of us are going to get the job done regardless. It's always a dream to be out there with your best friend making plays, but we know our roles and we know what we can contribute to this team. I love Anthony to death and I know he's going to make a huge impact when he's out on the field. If I happen to be out there with him it's going to be fun."

Added Lewis: "Matt is basically my brother. We do everything together. It's not a conflict. I know we're sharing time, but that's how we are with all the rest of our linebackers. It's how I would treat Garrick or Von or anyone else on our team."

Over the past two seasons, Lewis and Featherston played next to each other as the second team linebackers to Mark Dodge and Misi Tupe in a 4-2-5 formation. With Dodge and Tupe graduating after last season, the thought was for Lewis and Featherston to move to the first team together.

With the new regime in College Station, however, both were moved to the middle. Now, the competition is getting fierce on the field, but only because the two push each other to become better players and both are sticking right with each other.

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