Lucas an LSU lock?

LSU has always held the lead hometown product Jay Lucas, the bullish running back from Redemptorist who gained 1651 yds this year and scored 24 touchdowns.<br><br>Now that the Wolves have won their second straight Louisiana 3A state championship, he can begin to focus on his official visits and that final decision.

Lucas says there is a 90 percent chance he'll attend LSU, the favorite school of his parents, but he needs to significantly bump up his ACT score in order to qualify as a true freshman. Nick Saban has taken few chances on non-qualifiers as the Tigers' coach, and he has a stable full of running backs. If Lucas is to be the top back in the Class of 2004, he will have to get his academic house in order

"LSU is my top choice but I'm just trying to pass the test now and graduate," said Lucas. "I'm not really worried about recruiting. Everything will fall into place. I'll start to set up my trips next week. I was too focused on my season and my school work to think about it earlier."

Lucas said the Tigers' appeal has more to do with their proximity to home.

"LSU is a power running team and I like that," he said. "Also they aren't afraid to play young guys. I think they'll do really good against Oklahoma, and they have a good chance to win it all." Should Saban elect to pass on Lucas, who are the other schools in contention for his commitment? "Florida State is my number two choice," said Lucas. "They have big, bruising backs, and I like their tradition. They have good coaches and develop their players well. Indiana, Texas and Tennessee are the rest of my top five, and they have all offered me."

According Lucas, the schools recruiting him have not discussed placing him in a junior college or prep school. He plans to retake the ACT in February in hopes of upping his score. Redemptorist won the Louisiana state 3A championship, finishing with a 14-1 record. Lucas rushed for 1651 yds and 24 TDs.

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