Here he comes, out onto the practice field, a place with no pressure, a place to polish and perfect. But not against these guys.
Evan Lewis stood across from a pair of impositions.
There he'd be, staring straight ahead at Derrick Williams or Jordan Norwood, two of Penn State's all-time greats at the receiving position. Defend them, he was told. Don't let them get by. Don't let quarterback Daryll Clark complete a pass to either of the two.
"Coming in playing corner against D-Will [Williams] and Jordan Norwood, I was like, 'What am I doing?' " Lewis said.
It was a tall task considering Lewis hadn't played much of any defense, aside from a few plays in high school, since midget football.
However much Lewis may have wondered why he was covering the dynamic receivers, he never questioned his ability to get it done. And after three-and-a-half seasons at Penn State, he has already proven he can do it all.
Lewis is part cornerback, part quarterback. Part kicker, part receiver. He's the only player on the Penn State roster listed with two positions next to his name that aren't both kicking spots. He owns the lengthiest positional resume on the football team.
"I spent some time playing quarterback the summer I got here for drill six," the Gettysburg native said. "I played some wideout also, then went into camp as a cornerback. I played corner for my first year and a half and then switched over to receiver. Then last spring they had me kicking and doing receiver."
He posed as Northwestern quarterback, receiver and scrambling-threat Kain Colter in practice last week.
Last season, he mimicked Michigan quarterback and the Big Ten's second-leading rusher, Denard Robinson, complete with a wig of Jamaican dreadlocks and all. The Penn State defense held Robinson to 11-of-23 passing and one touchdown as a result.
"He's one of the most athletic people on the team," Nittany Lions defensive end Jack Crawford said. "He's the quarterback we go against on our scout team. It helps us, and we get yelled at a lot because of him."
The task of playing the jack of all trades isn't easy, Lewis said.
While other players on the team are focusing on one position or one unit, Lewis is like a confused housefly on the field. He'll go from catching passes from quarterbacks, to playing quarterback, to kicking practice. It's exhausting work, he said.
"I remember in the spring I'd be running routes, running routes, running routes and then come over and have to go kick," Lewis said. "It just takes a lot from each position when you really just want to focus on one thing. Not too many guys are switching positions."
None of this was new for Lewis. Coming out of high school, he was the quarterback. Sure, he was the kicker and punter at Gettysburg High School as well, but it was his arm that got him looks.
The 2007 Associated Press PIAA Class AAA Player-of-the-Year, Lewis led the Warriors to the 2007 Keystone Division championship. He threw for 2,765 yards and 31 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in his senior year. Altogether, Lewis tossed 67 touchdowns in his career, throwing for 6,194 yards all the while completing 59 percent of his passes. He also kicked what his high school coach believes was a school-record 48-yard field goal.
Even with all the accolades, the 5-foot-10 athlete was recruited by the Lions purely for athletics. He could have gone to Penn, Bucknell, Hofstra, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg or Bloomsburg and been "the man" immediately, Lewis's father, John, said.
But that was never an option.
After receiving a talking-to from Lewis' high school coach, Sam Leedy, at the Big 33 meetings in State College, Penn State assistant coach Larry Johnson came knocking. He said the Nittany Lions wanted him to come to Penn State, and Lewis said to himself, "How can I not? How can I not go to a program and compete at that level?" He stopped returning phone calls or going on visits. His mind was made up.
"You don't want to have woulda, coulda, shouldas in your life," Lewis' father said. "He wanted to compete at the highest level he possibly could have."
While attending a Penn State football game when Lewis was younger, his father said he remembered the moment he knew his son was destined to become a Nittany Lion.
Leaning against the railing in the lower level concourse, waiting for the players to exit the field, Lewis' dad said his son was in awe.
"One of the guys go by and he looked up to me and said, 'They're perfect,' " Lewis' father said. "I knew from that time on, if at all possible, he'd certainly want to do that."
But for three years, the only action Lewis saw with the Lions was on the practice turf.
He was, without a doubt, helping the team by preparing them for the next week's opponent in the scout team. It wasn't enough.
"He's a competitor, and he's here to play. He's not just here to practice," Lewis' father said. "Like any one of those guys out there, they want to step onto the field, he wants to make a difference. It kills him not to be out there."
It took until his fourth year with the Lions, but Lewis finally got that opportunity to see the Beaver Stadium field he dreamed of for so long.
It was the Thursday before the Lions' first game of the season against Indiana State, his mother, Cindy, remembers. Lewis went into the locker room and found a different colored jersey at his locker -- the light blue starter's jersey. He was to be the Lions' opening-day kicker.
"I won the job, and after some unfortunate errors on my part, I lost the job and here I am again, searching for something," he said.
Even when his stint as the Lions' place kicker ended, it didn't mean his time on the field did as well.
Facing a fourth-and-4 on the opposition's 17-yard line back on Oct. 8 against Iowa, the redshirt junior made his way onto the field to attempt the Lions' first fake field goal of the season.
It had been a play the Lions were practicing for some time, Lewis said. They were just waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
He rushed for 8 yards and the first down.
"That was his job," his mother said. "I had absolutely no doubt that he would make that first down. He's an excellent ball handler, he's an excellent runner, so I knew that he'd get that first down."
Until Lewis earns the opportunity again, he'll be patient. He'll continue to wait his turn, wait for the dice to land him on chance once again.
For now, he'll continue to make an impact for the Lions, even if it's not always in front of 100,000 fans. And whenever the Penn State defenders stop one of the opponent's top offensive weapons, it's possible Lewis prepared them by burning them on the same play earlier in the week.
"He works his butt off and will do whatever you have to do to get out there," his father said. "I have to give him a lot of credit. I'm extremely proud of him. I'm just fortunate he's my son."