ASU RB Deantre Lewis leaves team before Sun Bowl
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State's main motivation looking ahead to its Sun Bowl game is sending 11 seniors off with a victory, but it appears one of those players won't be getting such an opportunity. Head coach Todd Graham confirmed after practice Friday that redshirt senior running back Deantre Lewis is no longer with the team.
Graham wouldn't go into detail about Lewis' departure.
Lewis rushed for 190 yards on 41 carries this season but never gained traction as a backup behind starting back D.J. Foster. He had been working out with the team since the Territorial Cup loss to Arizona and was listed as the team's starting running back in the team's Sun Bowl depth chart alongside Foster.
The Arizona Republic's Jeff Metcalfe was first to report Lewis' departure.
And so an up-and-down career for Lewis comes to an end. Lewis' best season came during his freshman year in 2010. After averaging 5.9 yards per carry and running for 539 yards during his first season as a Sun Devil, Lewis was shot while visiting his home in California. After taking a medical redshirt to recover, he returned as a defensive back in 2012 before switching back to running back.
Lewis found himself behind Marion Grice and Foster, who combined for 20 scores on the ground last year. In 2014, Lewis once again couldn't cement himself as a backup to Foster and split carries with freshman Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage.
Lewis had his chances this season, scoring a touchdown in the second game of the year against New Mexico before taking nine carries for 46 yards and catching two balls for 26 more yards on Sept. 25 in ASU's loss to UCLA. He finished the team fourth in rushing yards, behind Foster, Richard and quarterback Taylor Kelly.
Arizona State announced Wednesday it received a letter of intent from junior college tight end Raymond Epps, a three-star recruit by Scout's standards. The 6'5, 235 pound Arizona Western recruit will have three years of eligibility remaining after redshirting his sophomore year at the junior college because of a torn meniscus.
Originally from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis, Epps could vie for immediate snaps next season with De'Marieya Nelson's eligibility expiring after the Sun Bowl.
ASU's leading receiver and potential early entry NFL Draft candidate Jaelen Strong wasn't at practice on Friday, and Graham said he was out for "personal business."
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