TEMPE, Ariz. -- It's no secret.
Arizona State needs help at wide receiver. Big time.
That's why five of the 11 offensive members of the Sun Devils' 2013 recruiting class were wide receivers (and another two were receiving-minded tight ends).
Among that group is Ronald Lewis, a dynamic talent from West Jefferson High School in Louisiana. Lewis chose ASU over offers from a dozen major programs, including Nebraska, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
While Lewis comes to Tempe listed as a wide receiver, the 6-foot, 185-pounder has the versatility and explosiveness to be a multi-purpose weapon. At West Jefferson, he saw action as a running back, Wildcat quarterback, and kickoff returner in addition to his time at wide receiver.
"You'll see with watching his film that he is one of the most dynamic play makers in return game," said ASU head coach Todd Graham of Lewis. "When the ball is in his hand he is electrifying."
I caught up with Lewis to get his take on why he chose ASU, what he brings to the offense, and what he hopes to do during his Sun Devil career.
When did ASU come onto your radar as a possible destination?
I’ve known Coach Norvell since he was at Pitt. He’s been telling me since my freshman year that wherever he is, he’s going to get me. When he became an Arizona State coach, he gave me an offer right then and there. He trusted me, and I trusted him with my career and my future.
Beyond the relationship with Coach Norvell, what were some other reasons for choosing ASU?
I have a coach who is standing out to me how he was going beyond playing football and how he was preparing a future for me. He reached out to me school wise, not just because I’m good at playing football and I can do something for the team. He looked deeper into my future as a student, not just some athlete. They have me getting a great degree. They see something brighter and bigger than football.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I can play multiple positions. I can play receiver, I can motion across to the running back position. I can get a little Wildcat going. I’m quick off the ball. I have pullaway speed (Lewis runs a 4.45 40-yard dash) that I can get away from a defender. I’m a playmaker. I can make plays when they need it.
How do you envision the coaching staff using you?
They’re going to motion me in and out of the backfield. They’re going to use me as a Wildcat, and at wide receiver. They’ll motion me to the backfield and give me a couple of carries. And on special teams on the kick return, hopefully.
Do the team’s recent struggles at the wide receiver position put any additional pressure on you?
It just makes me work harder. They’re wanting me to play early, so I’m working harder and get better so that I can be prepared and ready for the season. The struggles that they’ve been having the last few years, I’m going to help them out and show that they improved and get better as a team.
What does it mean to you to be a Sun Devil?
It’s great to be a Sun Devil. I couldn’t wait for this moment to be out here. I feel like I know where the coaches were coming from. They were telling me that I have the opportunity to play and that I can have an impact on the offense. I just breathed that in.
What are your goals for this year and for the remainder of your career?
To get our team past the Pac-12 Championship and go to the Rose Bowl. That’s how it goes: Be Rose Bowl champions.
What jersey number will you be wearing?
They’ve given me No. 15.
See Ronald Lewis in Action