MIAMI – Florida International linebacker Sage Lewis is the Conference USA preseason defensive player of the year.
The C-USA's 14 head coaches tabbed Lewis as the top defensive player in the conference Monday.
Lewis broke the school record for total tackles (132) and solo tackles (83) last season, ranking first in the C-USA in both categories.
The fifth-year senior from Opa-locka started all 13 games for the Panthers in 2018, finishing 10th nationally in solo tackles and 20th in the nation in total tackles.
Lewis becomes FIU's first preseason defensive player of the year since Richard Leonard in 2015.