If there is one thing that has been missing off this Mississippi State team since Dan Mullen's arrival in Starkville, it is multiple playmakers at Wide Receiver. Well, the Bulldogs have just that heading into the 2014 season. Jameon "Tubby" Lewis and De'Runnya "Bear" Wilson combined for 1,274 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2013, and all signs point to that production continuing this season.
The major question for Jameon, who had shown flashes but was inconsistent, was could he replace playmaker Chad Bumphis in the slot. Trying to follow in the footsteps of an NFL receiver is no easy task, but he exceeded expectations and more.
The shifty Lewis caught 64 passes for 923 yards and was constantly wreaking havoc on SEC defenders. It was a constant theme; he simply made DB after DB look plain silly. Whenever the Bulldogs needed a first down, Lewis got the job done more times than not. He ended the year with a bang going off for 220 yards against Rice in the Liberty Bowl.
Lest we not forget games against Troy and Kentucky in which he reached paydirt passing, rushing, AND receiving. Talk about impressive! Lewis comes back for his senior season as the leading returning receiver in the SEC and a potential high draft pick for the NFL.
De'Runnya Wilson was a name that the average MSU fan was probably not aware of a year ago at this time. He was just coming into his freshman season, and for most receivers in this league that means not a ton of playing time. Wide receiver is a position that usually requires a little extra time to develop and sharpen skills, as opposed to say a position like RB or DL.
However, the 6'5" receiver did not disappoint, bursting onto the scene catching 26 passes for 351 yards with 3 touchdowns. Wilson was nearly unstoppable against Texas A&M in a game where he punished the Aggies with an excellent out route time and time again. He would go on to snag 7 passes for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns.
A memorable catch against LSU also stands out, where Wilson leaped up over a defender and hauled in a 59 yard touchdown pass from Tyler Russell. "Bear" certainly has a chance to become one of the best receivers in school history before he leaves campus.
What to expect in 2014: There is no question that these two guys' styles complement one another very well. The short and speedy Lewis weaves in and around defenders over the middle while the tall and long armed Wilson is more of a vertical threat down field. Look for Dak to distribute the ball to these two pretty evenly. Defenders will have to pick their poison. If one is double teamed, the other will make them pay. Even with the Dogs primarily being a running team, it would not shock me one bit to see Lewis and Wilson combine for over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns if both stay healthy.