SOUTH BEND, Ind. Kapron Lewis-Moore predicted he wont become too sentimental during Notre Dames senior day on Saturday. Hes been through this before.
Last year, unsure if he would be back for another season, Lewis-Moore participated in senior day. Now a fifth-year senior, the defensive end is trying to help guide the third-ranked Irish to an undefeated home record. Notre Dame (10-0) faces Wake Forest on Saturday in the home finale in South Bend.
Its going to be special having (my mom) on the field, Lewis-Moore said. I honestly dont think Ill get emotional. Hopefully, nobody catches me on camera crying or whatever. I think, to be honest, the very last game of the season is when its going to hit me, but I went through it last year. I kind of get a second chance. Im pretty excited about that. Its going to be special for the guys.
Lewis-Moore, a 6-foot-4, 306-pound defensive end, is wrapping up his career as an energetic, enthusiastic leader for one of the nations top defenses. He tweets often to his nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter, even sending out photos of star teammate Manti Teo. Often chuckling and smiling, Lewis-Moore encourages his teammates.
Hes even a loud presence at Notre Dame basketball games he cheers and heckles from the student section.
Im really excited about this Kentucky game coming up, he said. Im going to try to be front row, be in their heads a little bit, help out the team as much as I can.
But currently his focus is on football. A knee injury forced Lewis-Moore to miss the final six games of last season, making him more appreciative this season, he said.
I actually get it from everywhere, Lewis-Moore said about his enthusiasm. I like to text and tweet, give a Hey, I hope everythings going all right, little things like that. Also, having my injury last year, you miss a lot of games and practices, so being fortunate to play one more year and go out there and practice, you really dont understand it until youve been through it. Just try to take every day with a smile and laughter.
As one of four team captains, Lewis-Moore helps anchor a defense that limits opponents to 11.1 points per game. He has registered 4 12 sacks and 31 tackles in 10 games.
He has great energy, a positive energy, Teo said. Kap is always positive and working hard. Old Man Kap, hes beaten down sometimes, but he always seems to smile and try to uplift our team. Our team is better because Kap is the captain.
A native of Weatherford, Texas, and originally a Texas A&M recruit, Lewis-Moore chose to attend Notre Dame for its academic reputation and football pedigree. But at the time of his arrival, the Irish were trying to stage a comeback. In 2007, the year before Lewis-Moores freshman year, the Irish went 3-9.
Its crazy. Its been a long ride, Lewis-Moore said. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Seeing this program grow from where it was to where it is now is something thats really encouraging to me.