Falcons Zane Lewis signs with Cardinals as priority free agent
Air Force’s Zane Lewis, a 2020 Academy graduate, has been signed as an undrafted free agent by the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals. Lewis was a three-year lettermen and two-year starter for the Falcons from 2016-19. He started 24 of 25 games over the 2018-19 seasons. Lewis recorded 45 total tackles and a team-best 15 pass breakups last season. He ranked fourth in the Mountain West and 20th nationally in pass breakups with a 1.23 per-game average.
Lewis will be attempting to become the fourth former Air Force player on a current NFL roster, joining offensive lineman Ben Garland (2010 graduate) with San Francisco, tight end Garrett Griffin (2016 graduate) with New Orleans and long snapper Austin Cutting (2019 graduate) with Minnesota.
Air Force capped a historic season in 2020 with a 31-21 win over Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl Dec. 27 in Phoenix, Ariz. The win gave Air Force an 11-2 overall record. Air Force’s 11 wins are the third most in program history, trailing the 12 wins in 1985 and 1998. Air Force closed with an eight-game winning streak which is the third longest in school history and second longest in the nation, trailing only national champion LSU’s 16-game streak. Air Force was ranked in the final national polls for the first time since 1998, as the Falcons finished 22nd in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Air Force finished second in the Mountain West Mountain Division with a 7-1 record. The 7-1 slate matched the school record in conference play, marking the first time the program has accomplished it in the Mountain West. Air Force was the nation’s third most-improved team with a six-game turnaround from last season. Only Navy (eight) and Central Michigan (seven) had better improvement.
6 Zane Lewis, CB
6-1, 190, Sr., Richmond, VA (Trinity Episcopal)
2019 – Played and started in all 13 games ... recorded 45 total tackles and a team-best 15 pass breakups … ranked fourth in the MW and 20th nationally in pass breakups with 1.23 per game … five tackles and a PBU vs. Washington State in bowl game… three tackles and a pass breakup vs. Wyoming … six tackles and two pass breakups at New Mexico … six tackles, three pass breakups and a 99-yard INT return for a TD at Colorado State ... second 99-yard INT return for a score in his career … 99-yard return is a school record and he is the first Falcon since 1999 to have two-career defensive touchdowns … career-high eight tackles, PBU vs. Army … three tackles and a PBU vs. Fresno State … five tackles at Boise State … three tackles and two PBUs at Colorado … two pass breakups vs. Colgate … ranks third in AF history in career INT return yards with 198 … played 37 career games with 23 starts, all consecutive.
2018 – Played in 12 games, starting 11 … started the last 11 games of the season … recorded 43 total tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, an interception and a team-best six pass breakups … three tackles and a pass breakup vs. Colorado State … seven tackles, a tackle for loss, forced fumble and pass breakup at Wyoming … had six tackles at Army … four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup vs. Boise State … career highs of eight tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, along with a pass breakup, at UNLV … recorded his first-career interception vs. Nevada, returning it a school-record 99 yards for his first-career touchdown … six tackles at Florida Atlantic in his first start.
2017 – Played in all 12 games … recorded six total tackles, including three unassisted … career-best two tackles vs. VMI … had one tackle each vs. New Mexico, Nevada, Boise State and Utah State.
2016 – Did not see any varsity action.
High School – Lettered two years in football and track … second-team all-state in football as a junior … all-metro honoree in track two years … earned the Richmond Dispatch Athlete of the Month honor once … first-team all-state honors in football as a senior … member of the National Honor Society … high school football coach was Sam Mickens.
Personal – Son of Allen and Gayle Lewis … has an older sister … 2020 graduate of the Air Force Academy … majored in management … nickname is Zanebron … is a cousin to NFL player Shawn Springs … completed the powered flight program and was on the cadre for cadet operations last summer.
Lewis Career Statistics
Year G UT-AT TOT TFL Sacks Int
2019 13 33-12 45 0.0-0 0.0-0 1-99
2018 12 28-15 43 5.0-11 0.0-0 1-99
2017 12 3-3 6 0.0-0 0.0-0 0-0
Totals 37 64-30 94 5.0-11 0.0-0 2-198