Depth has been a factor for Arizona State in Todd Graham’s first year as head coach, especially in the defensive secondary.
Back in September, in an effort to bolster the defensive depth, Graham decided to switch sophomore Deantre Lewis from tailback and give him a shot at safety.
Lewis saw action in a handful of games on defense, tallying four total tackles. But he wasn’t part of the travel team that lost at USC 38-17, and it now looks like the experiment is over.
“We tried to move him over to DB and I think it’s been very tough from a learning standpoint for him,” Graham said following Tuesday’s practice in Tempe. “He kind of was excited about it for a couple weeks, then he got kind of confused and kind of hit a wall, so we’re going to probably move him back and get him going, working at tailback.”
Lewis opened eyes as a true freshman in 2010 when he ran for 552 yards on just 92 carries and scored four touchdowns. In that season, he had three consecutive games with more than 100 yards rushing (122 at Wisconsin, 127 vs. Oregon and 104 at Oregon State). He was also a threat in the passing game, catching 23 balls for 370 yards and another score.
Lewis was shot in February of 2011 while visiting family in Riverside, California. He didn’t play last season while recovering from his injuries.
“Deantre helped us in some nickel and dime stuff, he just wasn’t able to progress,” Graham said. “So he wasn’t playing, and if he’s not going to play, we’d rather him be back over there and give us some depth at running back.”