Skip to content

Ten players, ten reasons: Kapron Lewis-Moore

Jan 2, 2013, 7:52 PM EST

Wake Forest v Notre Dame Getty Images

The sixth in a series on ten below-the-radar players whose performances helped key the Irish’s run to the national title game. Others include Zeke Motta, Danny Spond, TJ Jones, Prince Shembo and Theo Riddick.

It wasn’t too long ago that Kapron Lewis-Moore looked like the odd man out. As the fifth-year senior worked his way back from a season-ending injury knee injury, he returned to spring practice without a starting spot. After holding down a starting role for the better part of three seasons, the fifth-year senior from Texas was now looking up at an underclassmen on the depth chart.

Earlier in his career, that sort of thing could have thrown Lewis-Moore off his game. But after a few tumultuous seasons in South Bend, multiple defensive line coaches and two head coaches, the elder statesman of the defensive line knew he was better off worrying about getting better and letting things simply sort themselves out.

Things certainly did sort themselves out. Whether it was the starting job that fell back into his hands after Aaron Lynch transferred midway through spring practice, or recommitting himself to conditioning and the weight room, Lewis-Moore, once identified as one of Charlie Weis’ guys, became one of Brian Kelly’s best leaders.

Named one of the Irish’s four captains after a grueling summer conditioning schedule, Lewis-Moore was honored to be given the opportunity to lead his teammates by his head coach.

“He called my name last and I wasn’t really expecting it because we have a lot of guys on the team that are worthy of being captains,” Lewis-Moore recalled to The Observer. “To hear my name was really something special.

“I got a little teary eyed. I knew this season was going to be special but to be captain is just something I can’t really explain. It’s speechless.”

With the added responsibility of leading, Lewis-Moore’s production also rose to the occasion. Anchoring the end position opposite Stephon Tuitt, the senior has played his best football for the Irish down the stretch, putting together a tremendous final season as he helped anchor the stingiest defense in the country.

Lewis-Moore has continued to play solid football at the point of attack, using his 306-pound body to help anchor the Irish rushing defense. But after totaling just six career sacks heading into his final season in South Bend, Lewis-Moore added some pass rush skills to his repertoire, doubling his career total with six more this season, while making eight TFLs and forcing two fumbles.

“He’s been a better football player for us this year,” Kelly said of his senior captain. “He is an extremely productive player, is playing with a lot energy, and has been a great leader for us.”

With the season on the line, Lewis-Moore played perhaps the best game of his career, filling up the stat sheet with five tackles, 1.5 sacks, two TFLs, and a forced fumble against USC. With young star Stephon Tuitt kept in check, it was “Old Man Kap” that did the damage in the pass rush.

It was the penultimate stop on a very long journey that took a skinny tight end out of Weatherford Texas and turned him into one of the building blocks of the toughest defenses in college football. And with his collegiate finale just five days away, Lewis-Moore will get a chance to play on college football’s biggest stage, a game that feels like a lifetime away from the early trials and tribulations of his career.

“To think of my freshman year, getting snowballs thrown at me and now about to play for a national championship is something special,” Lewis-Moore said. “It’s hard to believe, but this team, we’re fighters.”

 

 

Latest Posts
  1. Mailbag: Sunday delivery

    Jan 25, 2015, 2:28 PM EST

    Jarrett Grace Jarrett Grace

    A special Sunday delivery of the Mailbag. Let’s get to some questions.

  2. As expected, Eilar Hardy to transfer for fifth year

    Jan 25, 2015, 11:16 AM EST

    Navy v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Safety Eilar Hardy will finish his college football career elsewhere. After four seasons in South Bend, Hardy will earn his Notre Dame degree and be free to play out his eligibility in another program.

  3. Mailbag: Finding the right 85 guys

    Jan 23, 2015, 1:04 PM EST

    Matthias Farley

    With less than two weeks to go before Signing Day, recruiting is the focus for the Irish coaching staff. But as we crack open the mailbag, we cover a bit more ground than the usual will-he or won’t-he that comes along with the first Wednesday in February.

  4. Prentice McKinney flips commitment to UNC

    Jan 22, 2015, 11:32 AM EST

    Rivals Rivals

    One of Notre Dame’s long-time verbal commitments is no longer planning on joining the Irish’s 2015 recruiting class. Texas safety Prentice McKinney took an official visit to North Carolina last weekend and flipped his commitment to Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels on Wednesday, dropping Notre Dame’s recruiting class down to 22 players and just two safeties.

  5. Mailbag: Now Open

    Jan 21, 2015, 9:51 PM EST

    New Mailbox

    Can we follow up last week’s excellence with another solid week of questions? Drop them below or @KeithArnold.

  6. Irish recruiting efforts coming into focus

    Jan 21, 2015, 1:43 PM EST

    ESB

    While the Irish coaching staff traverses the country taking in-home visits, Notre Dame’s staff is close to putting the finishing touches on a stellar recruiting class. The additional of Aliz’e Jones pushes the Irish into a consensus Top 10 class — quite an accomplishment considering this was supposed to be a smaller group.

  7. DaVaris Daniels to enter NFL Draft

    Jan 20, 2015, 12:29 AM EST

    Taylor Richards, DaVaris Daniels Taylor Richards, DaVaris Daniels

    Star-crossed Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels’ career with the Irish is over. After two seasons and two significant suspensions, Daniels decided to forgo any additional eligibility he has at the college level and turn professional.

  8. Kelly hits the recruiting trail to bring back Stanley and Day

    Jan 19, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    Say this for Brian Kelly. He learns from his mistakes.

    And after losing Stephon Tuitt and Troy Niklas after just three seasons in South Bend, Notre Dame’s head coach made sure he had a final say before Ronnie Stanley and Sheldon Day made their stay-or-go decision.

  9. Keivarae Russell gives update on off-field progress

    Jan 19, 2015, 1:44 PM EST

    Notre Dame at USC AP

    KeiVarae Russell gives a promising update on his future in South Bend via (where else?) social media.

  10. Mailbag: So many questions, so little time

    Jan 16, 2015, 1:04 PM EST

    HO HO

    Lots to discuss in our Friday mailbag. Position changes, 85 scholarships, Reggie Ho and more.

    (Collective thumbs up to all of you.)

  11. Irish land elite TE recruit Alize Jones

    Jan 15, 2015, 2:51 PM EST

    MyLVSports.com MyLVSports.com

    After being committed to UCLA for months, Las Vegas tight end Alize Jones has flipped his pledge to Notre Dame. The bluechip recruit is widely acknowledged to be the best tight end in the country and plays high school football with current Irish commit Nicco Fertitta at Bishop Gorman.

  12. Dead period over, home stretch to recruiting begins

    Jan 15, 2015, 2:19 PM EST

    Arrington Farrar

    The first College Football Playoff is over. And with less than three weeks to go before National Signing Day, the dead period has ended and the home stretch in recruiting has begun.

  13. Mailbag: Now Open

    Jan 14, 2015, 10:45 AM EST

    New Mailbox

    There’s plenty to talk about. Have a question? Drop it below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  14. Ronnie Stanley to return for senior season

    Jan 13, 2015, 7:00 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    Notre Dame junior Ronnie Stanley announced Tuesday that he will return for his senior season, giving the Irish one of the best left tackles in college football for another season. After being projected by some as a first round pick, Stanley made the decision to return for 2015.

  15. What does Ohio State’s championship mean for Notre Dame?

    Jan 13, 2015, 2:36 PM EST

    Kelly Urban Meyer

    It can happen. The right head coach can survive adversity and win a national championship. We saw that Monday night when Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes manhandled Oregon on their way to a 42-20 victory.

  16. Coney, Dew-Treadway, Hoge and Tillery officially enrolled

    Jan 12, 2015, 6:55 PM EST

    247Sports.com 247Sports.com

    The first four members of the 2015 recruiting class begin their time at Notre Dame on Tuesday, with classes starting for early-enrollee freshmen Tevon Coney, Micah Dew-Treadway, Tristen Hoge and Jerry Tillery. All four freshmen will take part in winter workouts and spring practice, set to start in early March.

  17. Day’s return first part of 2015 puzzle

    Jan 12, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    North Carolina v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Over the weekend, Sheldon Day announced he would be returning for his senior season at Notre Dame. The returning captain and the Irish’s best defensive lineman sought a draft grade from the NFL’s advisory board before making the decision.

  18. Kelly’s clear: “Unfinished business” at Notre Dame

    Jan 9, 2015, 1:50 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Arizona State Getty Images

    Brian Kelly is all in. For as many times as you’ll hear his name mentioned for an NFL coaching position, the Irish head coach isn’t going anywhere.

  19. Report: Hanratty undergoing concussion testing

    Jan 8, 2015, 7:54 PM EST

    Property of 247Sports.com Property of 247Sports.com

    Senior Conor Hanratty has a final year of eligibility remaining. But before he explores whether to continue his football career, he’ll undergo medical testing after suffering three concussions in the last calendar year.

  20. Even with competition, Kelly expects Golson to return in 2015

    Jan 8, 2015, 2:33 PM EST

    North Carolina v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As Malik Zaire helped the Irish pull off a critical win in the Music City Bowl, all eyes turned to the quarterback who wasn’t playing. After starting the season’s first 12 games, Everett Golson played a complementary role in the Irish victory, completed some clutch passes down the stretch during Notre Dame’s 31-28 victory.