When Dion Lewis arrives for training camp with the Giants, it won’t be for the first time.
The nine-year NFL running back, who recently signed with the team, grew up in Albany and used to regularly attend the Giants’ training camp workouts at the University at Albany. Standing along the fence line, he watched NFL players go through their paces and hunted down autographs from his favorites.
“It was a great experience growing up being able to go watch those guys practice during training camp at a young age,” Lewis said. “I go back to the Tiki Barber days, Kurt Warner, Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard, guys like that.”
Lewis attended Albany High School and Albany Academy before transferring to Blair Academy in New Jersey for his final two seasons. By the time he entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Eagles in 2011, the Giants were just about finished training in Albany. They went back there in the summer of 2012 for the last time and have since held training camps at the Meadowlands complex adjacent to MetLife Stadium.
Lewis has a relationship with new head coach Joe Judge, having worked with him in New England.
“He brings a lot of energy,” Lewis said. “He is very detail- orientated. He is going to be prepared and he is going to know exactly what he wants you to do and how he wants you to do it. I know he is going to make sure everybody is on the same page. He is going to throw some jabs at you in meetings. The meetings are going to be lively. I remember him having a lot of good jokes. He’s a great guy and I can’t wait to get to work for him.”
Lewis also said he is excited about the opportunity to work with Saquon Barkley.
His roots in the area and the experiences of childhood are what made signing with the Giants a no-brainer for Lewis.
“I grew up a Giants fan, so it was always a dream of mine to play for them,” he said. “When I got the opportunity with the circumstances, I couldn’t pass it up.”