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March 17, 2011

Lewis making a name for himself

After spending a year on the scout team mimicking Cameron Newton, Denard Robinson and the rest of the dual-threat quarterbacks Mississippi State faced last season, Jameon Lewis finally gets to be himself.

The speedy 5-foot-9, 175-pound former high school signal caller has been one of the Bulldogs most dangerous offensive weapons at receiver during spring practice and hopes to transition that success into games this fall.

"Spring is going good," Lewis said. "I'm still learning and still trying to get comfortable running my routes and learning the plays and signals. Things are going good but I'm still in the learning process."

Like most true freshmen, Lewis wanted the opportunity to play right away. He had a stellar fall camp but the decision was made to redshirt him anyways to continue his development at wideout.

"It was really tough because I really wanted to play," Lewis said. "I was frustrated. I didn't know what to do. I had to call my dad (former LSU defensive back Roy Walker). But now that I've learned I've got an extra year so now I'm just ready for the challenge."

Lewis was rated as a three-star athlete coming out of high school in 2010 and many expected him to make the transition to the secondary like his father at the college level. But Lewis has been practicing at receiver since day one in Starkville and it looks to be a natural fit.

"I like the ball in my hands but as long as it's football it really doesn't matter," Lewis said. "I just really want to play. I've got love for the game. While I was at home I was training for both (receiver and defensive back) so I was ready to play either way it went."

With Lewis' high school background under center it is only natural that his name would be brought up in connection with the wildcat package. While there aren't any plays currently installed for him in that role he hopes the MSU coaching staff may install some as the spring continues.

"At this point I really don't know but I hope so," Lewis said. "I really feel comfortable back there. I feel like I'm back in my high school days but it doesn't matter. Whatever they want to do I'll be down for it."

Lewis is better known more by his childhood nickname "Tubby" than his birth name. His mother began calling him that shortly after he was born because of his pudgy appearance as an infant.

But as Lewis grew his athleticism grew more and more apparent as he eventually led Tylertown to back-to-back Class 3A state titles, the Chiefs first state championships in school history. As a senior he was named as the Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year after completing 75-for-137 passing for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing 200 times for 1,182 yards and 18 more scores.

In the 2009 state championship game against Aberdeen, Lewis accounted for all five of Tylertown's touchdowns picking up three through the air and two more on the ground.

The Bulldogs were the first school to offer Lewis and three days later he took them up on it. Throughout the recruiting process and even today it's a decision that he does not regret.

"I just liked the school," Lewis said. "They've got love all around. When I came here I liked it and it's in the SEC so why not jump on it. It's a winner."

Lewis will not be the only member of his family suiting up in maroon and white. His cousin Josh Robinson inked his national letter of intent with State back in February.

"He's a cool dude and we live right down the road from each other," Lewis said. "When we were back in high school we wanted to play each other bad but it never worked out. He's real cool and just like a little brother. It's going to be nice having him around."



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