Lewis finds his place transitioning from defense to offense
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 21:08
When sophomore Jameon Lewis first stepped on campus prior to the 2010 season, he expected to be regarded as a top playmaker at defensive back for the Maroon and White.
Fast forward two years, and Lewis has lived up to expectations of being an electrifying player but from the opposite side of the ball.
The Tylertown native was initially recruited for his defensive ability, but he was soon moved to the wide receiver position, where Lewis said the transition was difficult.
“It was really tough,” Lewis said. “The whole summer I was working out as cornerback, and that first week of camp they moved me to receiver. They were calling plays, and I’m like ‘I don’t know what to do’ so I just ran to an open spot.”
Lewis said the most difficult part of learning the offense was the importance of doing exactly what the coaching staff told him to do.
“I know what to do, and I know whatever they tell me to do, do it like they tell me to do it,” he said. “Coach would tell me to run a route 12 yards and I would run it 10, and he would get mad because it would mess up the timing with the quarterback. But now I know when he says ‘run 12,’ run 12.”
Quarterback Tyler Russell saw potential in the young emerging star, and said he is impressed with Lewis’ athleticism and discipline to learn the new position.
“When he first got here, he kind of ran his own routes. Now he’s matured and does what Coach asks him to do,” Russell said. “We never want to take his play-making ability away, so when we get the ball in his hands, he’s a special player. You can throw him the ball, and there will be four guys around him, and he’ll make every last one of them miss.”
Lewis showed promise in his debut against Memphis last season as he tallied 113 yards and a touchdown. Since then, Lewis has had three receptions for 30 yards and failed to see the end zone again.
Offensive coordinator Les Koenning said Lewis has learned the playbook in the offseason and is ready to become a more consistent target for the quarterbacks.
“He’s starting to pick up the offense. He’s starting to learn more and be more dynamic because he feels more comfortable,” Koenning said. “You would much rather have guys who want to make a play than guys who don’t want to make a play.”
Lewis also poses to be a threat on the special teams unit as he returned three kicks for 93 yards, including a 50-yard return in the Music City Bowl victory.
Koenning said Lewis may also see some time in the wildcat position given his experience at quarterback at Tylertown High School.
“Anytime Jameon has the ball in his hands, something is going to happen,” Koenning said. “Something could be good, something could be bad, but something is going to happen. He’s exciting, and the more consistency he gets, the better off we’ll be.”
The receiver has come a long way since arriving on campus, but he said there is always room for improvement in his game.
One thing Lewis said he has improved on is letting the flow of the game come to him.
“You have to let the game slow down. I used to try to rush everything, but now I’m letting it slow down and let the defense do what they’re going to do,”Lewis said.