So, let’s talk about Jameon Lewis.
If you missed our story on the sophomore receiver at HailState.com today, you’ll want to check that out first. We talked about his journey from starting quarterback in high school, to cornerback when he got to Mississippi State and then switching to receiver shortly thereafter.
But, where does he fit in with the Bulldog offense this fall?
He redshirted his initial year on campus, then he came out of the gate strong in his first game last year, catching four passes for 113 yards. That game has been well-chronicled, as has his follow up performance of only three catches and 30 yards over the remainder of the season.
However, both he and his coaches say he’s figured things out. The proverbial light bulb seems to have come on, and apparently, Lewis has a firm grasp of the offense (and the ball).
His teammates and coaches have used words like “electrifying,” “exciting,” “shifty” and “quick,” among others, to describe him. Those are words I’d think you would want associated with your slot receiver. But the only ones Lewis really cares about are “on,” “the” and “field.”
The Bulldogs already have two seniors at his position with Brandon Heavens as a backup and one of MSU’s top 10 all-time receivers, Chad Bumphis, as the incumbent starter.
So, the questions are these:
- Can Lewis oust Bumphis as a starter? Despite his place in the record book, Bumphis did struggle last year, posting his worst statistical season since arriving on campus.
- Could two slot guys be on the field at the same time? It’s happened before and MSU has the weaponry to do it.
- Are there enough reps to go around for it to not matter who starts? If the Bulldogs pass as much as many seem to think with Tyler Russell taking over at quarterback, there will be enough balls flying through the air that Lewis should be able to grab a few.
Here’s my take: Jameon Lewis is one of those guys who makes you hold your breath every time he touches the ball. As offensive coordinator Les Koenning recently joked (in a serious manner), when Lewis gets the rock, something is going to happen. The question is whether that something will be good or bad.
I know that may not seem safe, but I’ll be honest; I think that’s OK. Like playing the stock market or just drafting a fantasy football team, you mostly want to play it safe, but it’s fine to mix in some risk that could potentially have a huge payoff.
Lewis is that risk. He can be the payoff.
In seniors Chris Smith and Arceto Clark, MSU has two of the most steady and reliable receivers MSU fans have seen in years. Nothing too flashy, but they’re dependable. Always there, converting third downs to first downs at every turn. Add in senior tight end Marcus Green and the other two senior receivers and you’ve got yourself more steady reliability than you could ever ask for.
What you don’t have is that X-factor. In a garage of minivans and sedans – both necessary and important to success and general well-being – you need a motorcycle. Maybe a mid-life crisis convertible. You may not drive it to work every day, but those Saturday afternoons in the fall driving down tight, curving roads make it worth it.
You get what I’m saying here.
As Russell put it, Lewis can have four guys around him and make them all miss. In a passing offense that finally has an array of varied targets, as well as a passing quarterback to get them the ball, Lewis fits in perfectly as the “exciting,” “electrifying” option to complement the rest.
Assuming he really has figured out the playbook and has truly put his fumbling issues behind him, Lewis is going to be hard to keep off the field.
Said Koenning, “He deserves a chance.”
Not to mention, he looked like the Dawgs’ best option in the wildcat in the spring and his moves can likely do some damage on kick and punt returns, too.