There's been a search for an identity inside the MSU football team this season with several players having to step up to the task of being leaders. Quarterback Dak Prescott has taken a lot of the load upon himself but he's had a partner in crime that's made the biggest jump of anyone on the team. Jameon Lewis took over in the slot in game one of the season and since has taken the SEC by storm as one of the top playmakers in the offense and he's leading on and off the field for younger pups.
Lewis walked into the third-floor media room at the massive Seal football complex on Monday toting a iPad complete with game film on this week's opponent South Carolina. He paused it and focused his attention on the media if only for a few minutes before returning to it when questions ended.
You see, the junior has his eyes set on getting the job done this season and finally getting the Bulldogs a signature win that they've been looking for during the last couple of years. It's going to be a challenge.
"I just really started watching it so I can't call out what they're doing," Lewis said. "They have big names on the defensive side of the ball. We've just got to play ball and give total effort."
Lewis is the definition of a typical Mississippi football player. Growing up inside the Magnolia state, football is everything to most kids. Lewis is no exception as he admits his romance with the sport. At 5-9, 195, his size isn't ideal, but he's become a threat across the offensive gameplan and in special teams because of those fall Saturdays he spent in the back yard with family members and friends. That's why the rare feat of rushing, passing, and catching a touchdown in a game twice hasn't been a shock to the talented junior.
"When I saw (the stat) online, I really didn't think it was a big deal. Then I did it twice and now I hope I can do it again because it really was no problem. I'm just out there playing football. In the back yard when we were playing two-hand touch, I'm the quarterback in the backfield. I've been playing football for a long time, not just in a league but in the yard. I just love to play."
Coaches have seen the work that Lewis puts in during practice. He's made highlight reel catches, spins and dives in effortless motion. Mullen has put the ball in his hands this year and it's turned in to big results as he's accumulated 30 catches for 446 yards and put nine touchdowns on the board offensively receiving, rushing and passing.
"I'm just happy that coach gained the trust in me to call plays like that," Lewis said. "As long as we keep calling plays I think only good plays will happen that's just the competitor in me. I'm a competitor and I'm just blessed to have the opportunity to do things like that."
So what exactly would be his favorite kind of score? In his first three years, the do-it-all receiver has scored each possible way afforded to him with the exception of a punt return. He just likes to get into the endzone any way that he can.
"It don't matter as long as I get it," Lewis said with a childish grin. "Offensively I've been getting it so far. Now I've just got to step it up on kick and punt returns. I'm not satisfied, especially on punts."
While he's made his own personal transformation, so has his partner Prescott who's been quite the all-purpose player in his own right. The two have terrorized opposing defenses, and Lewis only sees his sophomore qb getting better.
"He's going to keep peaking because he's going to keep working towards it. He's going to find his weakness and keep pushing forward and going at it to get better and better," Lewis said of Prescott. "That's just Dak being Dak. I love being around him because he motivates me to go hard."
Lewis and Prescott are going to have to be on top of their game in the next month or so as the Bulldogs hit their roughest part of the schedule against South Carolina and Texas A&M on the road and #1 Alabama at home. All three are top 15 opponents, but this is nothing new to the team or Lewis as they're used to the grind of the SEC.
"When we got the schedule, we knew that there would be tough SEC games. We knew we had to really step it up in the second half of the season," Lewis said of the schedule. "We're just trying to go out there and get a W no matter how we get them."
Now the junior embarks on game one of that stretch taking on a South Carolina team that's back inside the top 15 and back in the race for the conference championship. It's a tough task, but Lewis is excited about the possibilities and the opportunity.
"I think we're ready. It's just like every other college; we have young players just like they do. We just have to get out there on the field and take it one play at a time."