"I need some more teammates to give me some more tickets," Lewis-Moore said. "I'm real excited. I haven't seen my mom in a long time, and my mom and sister are going to be out there. So I'm pretty excited to see them. It'll be good to be close to Texas."
Lewis-Moore returns to his home region as one of the most important pieces of a defense that ranks among the best in the nation, and which hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all season. The defensive line's leader in tackles in both 2009 (as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme) and 2010 (as a defensive end in the current 3-4 scheme), his senior season ended abruptly when he suffered a knee injury against USC in the eighth game of the season. Back for a fifth year, the 6-4, 306-pound behemoth -- he was a wiry 230 pounds when he arrived in South Bend -- Lewis-Moore has 23 tackles and two sacks through seven games this season.
He's also a captain and one of the emotional leaders for the Irish.
"He has done so much as a football player," ND coach Brian Kelly said. "He came in, he was an undersized player, really, for the role in which he has right now. Physically, he's in the best shape of his career here in his senior year, which says so much about him. And he's been an incredible leader for us. I think the thing that stands out more for me is he's also been a consistent emotional leader for us. He always brings an energy to practice. He always brings an energy to the games, and that's been really important for our football team. So he's worn a lot of hats, and that's clearly a reason why we are where we are, because of a guy like this."