After last weekend, the University of Arkansas now has a better shot at one of the nation's best high school wide receivers.
Liberty (MO) High wideout Marcus Lucas (6-5, 205, 4.5) regarded as the No. 14 receiver nationally by Scout.com, came away very impressed from his official visit to Fayetteville last weekend as did his mom Monique, a former University of Missouri basketball player.
"The whole atmosphere down here is just really great," Lucas said. "The whole visit – just very enjoyable for me and my mom, too. It would be a really good thing for me."
Lucas, who has narrowed his list to Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Stanford, was excited about seeing the Razorback offense, which leads the SEC in scoring (36-plus) and passing yards at 400 per game.
Ryan Mallett threw for 405 yards and 5 touchdowns while spreading the scoring around to 5 different targets against Troy and showing off head coach Bobby Petrino's play-calling mastery.
"Putting up 405 passing yards, that was pretty impressive," noted Lucas to Arkansas-Democrat Gazette recruiting writer Richard Davenport after the game. "They say they throw the rock around; they proved it. I could see myself coming in and producing."
That was something that Razorback wide receiver coach Paul Petrino got across to Lucas, who had 38 catches for 519 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
"That man is fired up," Lucas said. "He's excited about his players and he seems to know exactly what he is talking about with all the experience that he has had. Just the way he broke down film and different things like that. It was really unique from some of the other receiver coaches I've seen. From just talking to the players , they said he is going to get the best out of you. I can definitely see that by talking to him and meeting with him."
Lucas was hosted by quarterback Brandon Mitchell and injured tight end Chris Gragg on Friday night and by former Missouri prep star Ronnie Wingo and freshman wideout Cobi Hamilton on Saturday.
"They kept it real," Lucas said. "They told me how it was done here and what to look for on your visits. They were just cool dudes. You could tell on the field they were about business. Chris really wanted to be out there. Ronnie came off a big game and said ‘that's how it is done at Arkansas.' They are excited and want me to come down here, but they are going to take care of business whether or not (I come.)"
The screen pass that Wingo turned into a play he raced untouched 83 yards for a score and his 16-yard TD run certainly resonated with Lucas.
"It definitely did," Lucas said. "You see a guy from your home state, you see him do good things on the field, it shows that if you're from an out-of-state school and you're a playmaker, you're going to definitely get the ball. That was definitely a good thing that I saw."
As was the bonding he witnessed among the Razorback teammates.
"Whenever I was around the team, I felt they were so bonded," Lucas said. "You can tell they've gone through a lot of stuff together and they have found different ways to get through it."
He was also very impressed with the Razorback crowd for Troy even though it was not an SEC foe.
"It was crazy and it wasn't even a huge, huge game," Lucas said. "It was a game to get bowl eligible, but they said that wasn't even the best of the best, but there was still a good amount of people there. It just goes to show the community supports the Razorbacks. It's all about the Razorbacks."
Lucas arrived on Friday and got to take in Rotnei Clarke's school-record 51-point performance in the Razorbacks' 130-68 basketball win over Alcorn State.
Clarke hit his first seven 3-pointers and was 13-of-17 from beyond the arc as the Razorbacks rolled to a season-opening win.
"It was pretty crazy," Lucas said. "That Clarke kid played a really good game. It seemed like he was never going to miss. It was pretty cool to see that – the basketball side of things around here."
He also was surprised and honored that the UA students chanted his name during the contest.
"It was pretty cool at the basketball game that the fans knew my name and knew who I was," Lucas said.
He took in the basketball game with Garrick McGee, the Razorbacks' quarterback coach and his lead recruiter.
"He's just a good dude that cares about his players," Lucas said. "That is something I learned by talking to the players. He's there for his players, especially the ones he recruits. It's definitely a good relationship that we have.
Lucas has turned a lot of his recruiting process over to his mom, who he says takes delight in taking the pressure off of her son.
"A big part of it is the recruiting going through my mom," Lucas said. "She jokes about being my agent. She takes care of a lot of that. The majority really and keeps it away from me. So it doesn't bother me on the field or in my personally life."
Lucas plans to take all five of his visits and thinking very hard about how he would fit in at each place before coming up with a decision.
"This process is just really getting started for me with the officials coming now," Lucas said. "Those officials will lead me to coming down to a decision…I'm excited for all of them."
This was the second time that Lucas had been to Fayetteville after previously coming down to look over things during one of Arkansas' football camps in the summer.
"Definitely I liked it a lot when I came this summer," Lucas said. "The official visit helped a lot; I got to see more this time. I could definitely see myself coming."
Arkansas Impresses Lucas
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