A former top in-state prospect out of high school, John Lewis has seen a fairly limited amount of action across his first two seasons in Starkville. Could the 2023 season however mark a potential breakout campaign for the Mississippi State football linebacker, and if so, what might that year look like?
Mississippi State Football 2023 Season Preview: LB John Lewis
As mentioned previously, Lewis was a former top in-state prospect from the state of Mississippi, rated as a four-star linebacker in the 2021 class out of Germantown High School. Lewis was also one of the Bulldogs top overall names in that 2021 class, ranking behind only quarterback Sawyer Robertson according to the 247Sports Composite.
As a true freshman at Mississippi State in 2021, Lewis would play in only four games that season, redshirting his first year in Starkville. Across those four games, Lewis would compile only a pair of tackles in limited action, both of which came against Tennessee State.
Lewis last season however would go on to play in 11 games as a redshirt freshman, but would be held off the stat sheet primarily, as he made only one tackle last year, bringing his two-year total in Starkville to three tackles across 15 games.
Looking ahead however, what will Lewis’ role look like for the Bulldogs this season?
Mississippi State LB John Lewis 2023 Season Prediction: 40 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 PD
As mentioned at the start, a potential breakout campaign could be in the works for Lewis in 2023, and I’ll say that it in fact does happen this season.
At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, the redshirt sophomore enters his third season at Mississippi State as a key name in the Bulldogs linebacker room, one that also returns the SEC’s top two tacklers from a year ago in Jett Johnson and Nathaniel Watson. While the duo of Johnson and Watson each have starting spots secured, there is however an opening to replace Tyrus Wheat at SAM linebacker, with Lewis as the arguable favorite to do that under new defensive coordinator Matt Brock.
A linebacker who is capable of lining up at multiple spots defensively, Lewis is also coming off a strong showing in the Bulldogs spring game in which he led Team Wingo with six tackles. Could this potentially be a sign of things to come this fall for Lewis?
Overall, expect a big breakout 2023 season for the Mississippi State linebacker, one in which Lewis is a key factor in the success of the Bulldogs front seven defensively.