After catching 18 passes for 208 yards in nine games last year, Ben Lewis has opted to leave the Syracuse football program and forego his final year of eligibility. Lewis battled some nagging injuries last season while functioning as a hybrid alongside Ervin Philips.

Lewis is a redshirt junior this year, meaning he’s likely to have his degree by the time this semester is over. Coupled with the fact that he missed some time with “upper body” injuries last year, I’d speculate that he’s decided to keep his health, and simply take his degree and move on since finding his way to the NFL was unlikely.

That said, it’s unfortunate from a football standpoint. Lewis was one player I’d circled as someone who could really benefit from the Dino Babers offense in a probable move back to wide receiver. An experienced player with solid hands, he’s the kind of player who could have caught 40-50 balls in the upcoming year.

In his three years, Lewis finishes his career with 43 receptions for 490 yards with two touchdowns. He averaged 11.6 yards per catch last season, and 11.5 yards per catch the year before that.

One other roster move: reserve offensive lineman Alex Hayes is also gone from the Syracuse roster, though he was removed after violating team rules.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish