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MSU's Lewis returns to practice after brother's death

 

Brandon Walker

 

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State senior wide receiver Jameon Lewis returned to campus on Tuesday after spending the previous two days in his native Tylertown following the shooting death of his younger brother early Sunday morning.  

 

Tyriunce Lewis was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon after a morning shooting incident at Oakhurst Apartments in Tylertown. The Walthall County Sheriff's Department announced Sunday night that a suspect, Kendall Magee, was in custody and had been arrested.  

 

Jameon Lewis, who had three catches for 25 yards in MSU's season-opening victory against Southern Mississippi, spent Sunday and Monday in Tylertown before returning to Starkville on Tuesday morning.  

 

MSU coach Dan Mullen opened his weekly press conference by touching on the Lewis situation.  

 

"Our prayers as a program go out to Jameon Lewis and his family as they go through this terrible situation," Mullen said. "He came back today, will be at practice this afternoon. It's good for our football family to be able to put our arms around him." 

 

Lewis, a fifth-year senior, enters his final season as the Southeastern Conference's leading returning receiver. The Tylertown native had 64 catches for 923 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.  

 

"He just got back today, so I want to see how he does at practice," Mullen said of Lewis. "The good thing is he's a fifth-year senior. He knows the offense, knows the game plan, so I'm really not concerned about time lost.  

 

"I'm more concerned about where he is emotionally and about what we can do to help him through this. A lot of times, football can be a great escape from awful situations. Sometimes that field can be a safe place." 

 

Lewis went through MSU's afternoon practice late Tuesday afternoon and, according to teammates, appeared to be all business. 

 

"He is handling is better than I would have imagined," said MSU tailback Nick Griffin, who arrived in Starkville in the 2010 recruiting class with Lewis. "He's back out there, working hard like always. In the locker room, we all went up to him and let him know we were thinking about him, let him know the team is there for him. I think that's what he needed." 

 

Lewis, who wasn't available to media Tuesday afternoon, tweeted his response to the outpouring of support from his team: "This season will be dedicated to my lil bra, I promise ya I will not let you down!!!!" 

 

Follow Dispatch sports writer Brandon Walker on Twitter @BWonStateBeat

 

 

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