For Arizona State all-purpose running back Deantre Lewis, it would have been nice if his story heading into the Sun Devils' spring practice was how he was going to build on a promising freshman season in which he ran for 539 yards and added an additional 370 yards receiving.
But it's not, because Lewis is the player who made headlines in February for being shot in the buttocks on a trip home to Norco, Calif., one of several less-than-positive developments for the Sun Devils this offseason. There's some good news, though: head coach Dennis Erickson said yesterday that Lewis shouldn't miss any time this spring despite the incident:
"Well, this time yesterday he was out running, doing some stuff. Our trainers feel like he'll be ready for spring football. His health is fine. It's just a mentally scary thing for a guy. He's fortunate, being shot is bad enough, but he knows that it could have been a lot worse."That's no doubt true, doubly so when spring football will give him the earliest possible opportunity to put the shooting behind him*. And if the Sun Devils are going to build on their buzz-by-default in the fledgling Pac-12 South (even without quarterback Steven Threet), a key cog like Lewis will have to do just that sooner rather than later.
*Yes, the pun is intended. Sorry.