Coming into the 2013 season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs find themselves forced to replace nearly all of their wide receiver production from 2012. Gone are the likes of Chad Bumphis, Brandon Heavens, Chris Smith and Arceto Clark. To get an idea of how much of a change has occurred at the wide receiver position since last year, the entire two-deep at the wide receiver position for 2013 caught a total of 32 passes (Robert Johnson-17, Jameon Lewis-10, Joe Morrow-5) for 325 yards (Johnson-164, Lewis-108, Morrow-53) and two touchdowns, both belonging to Robert Johnson in 2012.
Lewis, after serving as a backup to Chad Bumphis in 2012, finds himself in a starting role with the opportunity to make big plays happen. The speedy and shifty receiver can cause havoc if he finds space after catching short passes, and last year's first-team All-SEC returner should contribute in the return game as well. Lewis can also see a few carries in the Bulldogs' rushing attack, and the former quarterback may even have a play or two called where he puts the ball in the air. Lewis is the only player on the Bulldogs' roster to score a rushing, receiving, and return touchdown, and perhaps the one through the air is next.
Many expected Lewis to produce more in 2012, but the play of those ahead of him did not allow him on the field as much as some thought he might be last year. Coming into 2013, he and the other projected starters will feel the pressure to produce as others look to take their spot in a wide receiver group that does not have any no-doubt starters at this point.
To date, the Bulldogs' victory over Memphis in 2011 has been the game where Lewis produced the most, catching four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also picked up a rushing score in that game.
Should Lewis fail to produce early, Brandon Holloway, a player with a similar skill set may threaten to take playing time away from Lewis.