The bad news yesterday for Arizona State? I probably don't even need to get into it.
I can't ease the current concerns of Arizona State fans after that loss, but I will say that the future got a lot brighter with the addition of Lewis. He is a unique player with a size (6'4" 245) and speed combination that will make him a matchup nightmare for teams in the Pac-12.
I watched Lewis' film as a junior a few months back and was definitely impressed with his skill set. He showed solid speed and was a natural hands catcher as a receiver. What I have seen from his senior season has taken it to another level though. He has flashed a more explosive burst as a runner and crazy athleticism and change of direction skills for his size.
Here's an example:
Lewis is lined up as a the single back in the backfield.
It's a simple swing pass out to Lewis. As you can see, the blocking situation is not ideal on this play.
The linebacker has Lewis in a bad situation. This is setting up as a massive loss of yards for the offense unless Lewis does something spectacular. He's about to right now and it starts with him dropping his hips to a point that he no longer looks like a 6'4" 245 pound human being.
With that sudden change of direction the linebacker is now hugging air instead of tackling Lewis.
He's not out the woods yet though.
Lewis was able to escape that and reverse all the way across the other side of the field.
Apparently it's not enough for him to shake people in the open field. He also now is hurdling defensive backs.
Lewis is ultimately brought down by several defenders at the 33 yard line. The line of scrimmage was the 22. He turned what should have been a solo tackle situation and over a five yard loss into an eleven yard gain!
Dudes his size are not supposed to make people miss like that. It's just not human.
Lewis also flashes incredible strength and balance with the ball in his hands. Here's another example from his senior season.
To put it simply, he's a beast when he has the football.
There's been a lot of speculation about Lewis' future position and that's not surprising based on his size. He is used in several positions by his high school program, but he's mainly a running back. Lewis has said that Arizona State pitched to him he will be used at both running back and receiver when he gets to Tempe. But is that truly going to be what is best for Lewis and for ASU?
Rivals.com's Mike Farrell doesn't think so.
Jaason Lewis reminds of Anthony Barr in high school, just needs to get focused more and embrace defense imho. pic.twitter.com/dJ4EmGiSFz— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) September 25, 2014
The comparison to Barr is an appropriate one considering the size and speed of both players and the fact that Barr saw himself as an offensive player before reluctantly switching to defense and becoming a star pass rusher for the Bruins. Lewis definitely has that same kind of athletic potential as an edge rusher if that's where he ends up at the college level.
The one difference between Barr and Lewis though are the receiving skills. Barr was more of a pure running back coming out of high school and Lewis is more advanced as a receiver. That's why I think Lewis should be able to stick with offense and play as hybrid tight end/receiver. I don't think he will get too many carries out of the backfield because 6'4" is just not conducive to success at the running back position, but I do think he can be dangerous as a receiving option.
He is an athletic mismatch with linebackers who try to cover him and his size will be a lot for defensive backs to handle. Wherever he ends up playing for the Sun Devils, he has the chance to make a big impact in the Pac-12. Getting 62 put on you at home is never a good time, but adding a weapon like Lewis to go along with a big time quarterback like Brady White certainly makes the future look a lot brighter than what the Sun Devils showed last night.