Lucas speaks glowingly of Sun Devils

One of Arizona's top overall 2016 recruits visited Arizona State Saturday and gave the unofficial visit extremely high praise. The Sun Devils are now the program to beat for Chandler star Chase Lucas.

As Chase Lucas arrived at Arizona State to watch the team's Saturday practice, a wide smile and numerous hugs conveyed just as much as the Sun Devil t-shirt Lucas donned for the occasion.

Yes, ASU is doing really well with one of the state's top recruits.

Lucas, a Scout300 prospect at Chandler High School and the No. 8 athlete in the West, spent eight hours on the ASU campus and left with a clear-cut leader in his recruitment.

"I would have to say that ASU is the team to beat," Lucas said. "It's not even the hometown hero type thing, it's me feeling comfortable in the place I am. It's knowing that if I work my butt off and do everything the coaches are telling me to do, the sky is the limit for me. They're never going to do wrong for me and put me in a position to excel. And also that my mom and family are so close too. Just to be able to come out of the Tillman Tunnel and see my mom smiling, that would be the greatest thing for me.

"So as of now, I would say that is the team to beat. I would say me going on this visit opened my eyes a lot more than last time, and me talking to the players opened my eyes more than last time. They tell me if you do what the coaches tell me, you will be successful. You can't ask for more than that."

The visit was so good in fact, Lucas said that he thought about telling ASU's coaches he was ready to join the program.

"Honestly, I did think about committing," Lucas said. "Just talking to coach (Todd) Graham, he said if you know this school is best for you and the place where you're going to succeed, why continue the recruiting process? That got me thinking. Why am I being selfish? I have an abundance of offers but if I know this is where I want to be, why not do it? My mom kind of talked me out of it. She said it's great that I feel this way but there's nothing wrong with taking visits and weighing out the options to be sure. But it was almost to that breaking point.

"I'm very comfortable with the coaching staff and I feel like even more so because I can bring my family and feel good about how they're going to like the experience. Especially with how I already know so many of the players and get along great with them. It makes it all more meaningful to me."

Lucas brought his grandparents, mother, aunt and uncle and cousins along for the experience at the behest of ASU offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, and was glad he did.

"The thing that stood out to my family was coach Graham. The last two hours of my visit, me and my whole family were in a meeting with coach Graham. He was telling stories about his days playing football and coaching earlier in his career. What really struck my family was how if I go to ASU I will be 100 percent taken care of as far as everything I'll need and coach Graham basically guaranteed that I will be taken care of and that he will personally make sure of it.

"When I took my unofficial last time we did the same things but to be honest I could never get tired of it. I could never get tired of going to the practices, visiting with the coaching, going to the offices, seeing the weight room and the academic side of it and the dorms. It never gets old. That's why I see it as more of a home for me. The more I see it, the more I [visualize] it being something I want to be a part of. It makes me feel like I'm already there, living there and part of the program. I love being at ASU."

In high school Lucas plays all over the field but has spent most of his time at running back. In college though he'll likely be a defensive back or perhaps a wide receiver. At ASU, Lucas said he'll get the opportunity to work at the position he'd like to start his career, but the defensive-minded Graham has an idea of where he might end up.

"He made it clear to me that if I do go to ASU, I will be able to play the position I want to play," Lucas said. "He said that's on me, but he would most likely put me at defensive back and he wants me to be a part of the ASU defense. He mentioned (former ASU free safety and first-round 2015 NFL pick) Damarious Randall and said he thought I would have a longer and more fulfilling career as a defensive back."

Relationships are important to Lucas, and he already has a strong one with some players on the ASU roster, none more so than his former high school quarterback, freshman Bryce Perkins. Together, the two and fellow elite 2015 recruit N'Keal Harry -- who also visited ASU Saturday -- led Chandler High to its first high school football championship in 65 years.

"Bryce is my boy," Lucas said. "That's a bond that can never be broken. He knows that ASU is really high on my list and tells me the college life is fun but ASU is serious. They're trying to build a legacy over here and if you come here you can expect nothing but the best. Coach Norvell, (secondary) coach (Chris) Ball, coach Graham, they'll work you to get the most out of you and it's hard, but that's how you'll make the most of it. Seeing him today put a smile on my face because he looks so much bigger and there's something about him now, he looks like ASU developed him into a man already."

Lucas and Harry are extremely close and it's a possibility they could play for the same college next year, both told SunDevilSource.

"I've known N'Keal since he was 5 years old," Lucas said. "We both came from single parents so we both trained ourselves and worked to get to this point and we still have so much more to accomplish but just to get to a point where it's even a possibility that we could go to the same college on scholarship is ridiculous."

Fellow Scout300 recruit Byron Murphy, a Saguaro two-way star player in the same class, is close with Lucas and Harry and also considering some of the same schools, including ASU.

Lucas said for now he's planning to take an official visit to Washington and would like to make another unofficial visit to UCLA next month. Other college visits could take place. All will be compared to how he currently feels about ASU.

"I really think it's a great possibility we end up at the same school but like N'Keal says, we need to make decisions that benefit us (individually) more than all of us (collectively)," Lucas said. "But could that possibly be the same school? I really think it could. Could it be ASU? I think it's definitely a good possibility."

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