Getting To Know

Marcedes Lewis

Working hard is playing hard when you’re a big-money NFL tight end

Garnering the 28th overall draft pick in 2006, Marcedes Lewis started his NFL career with promising potential. He had to earn his keep on the Jaguars roster, and the transition from college ball to the pros wasn't always easy. By the end of his fifth season, however, he was Pro Bowl bound. The ink has barely dried on a sizable five-year contract with the Jags, and with the season opener approaching on September 11, Lewis is eager to take to the field. In his downtime, he oversees the Marcedes Lewis Foundation, keeps up with some 16,000 followers on Twitter (find him at @MarcedesLewis89) and cares for his English Mastiff, Crush. Here are a few other things you didn't know about the 27-year-old Jag:

• He has brawn and brains—and a diploma from UCLA. "I studied sociology in college. If you played football, you either majored in history, sociology, psychology or political science."

• In many ways, Lewis is a regular guy. Need proof? Check out his video game collection, which is full of titles like UFC Undisputed, Call of Duty, Halo and the NBA 2K series.

• The Long Beach native splits his time between Jax and his hometown, but he still struggles with some elements of East Coast life. "I have to worry about hurricanes, and that's a little different. The humidity is different, too; I sweat even when I'm not doing anything. Life is faster-paced on the West Coast. People are nice here, and they treat me well."

• When it's time to chow down, it's meat and potatoes. Bonefish Grille, Capital Grille and Ruth's Chris are his favorite restaurants in town. • "I got my first tattoo at 18, because my mom wouldn't let me get one before then. I don't know how many I have now, but every tattoo session takes about four hours, and I've probably had three full days of sessions."

• Count Lewis' mom among his personal heroes. At 15, she brought Marcedes into the world, and he calls her before each game. "We talk, and have our little heart-to-heart, and she puts things into perspective about why I'm here and what my purpose here is. It gets my mind clear so I'm able to have clarity on the field."

• At 6'-6'', 275 lbs., Lewis looks outside of the River City when he's ready to add new jeans and shoes to his wardrobe. "I have friends that are in fashion; they'll send me stuff from the showroom."