Will Lukusa Change Decision Timeline?

Traverse City (Mich.) West OL Thiyo Lukusa had been planning to commit to a school in a little over a month, but he is being advised to prolong his process. He’ll probably heed that advice, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t schools sticking out on his list.

Sam Webb:  So you’re out for the season. Can you explain what happened? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Shoulder injury.  It will get worse if I play and if I just rest nothing is going to happen and I’ll get better and I will be better in a month.  If I play and get hit again, it could keep me out for awhile.” 

Sam Webb:  When was your last game? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Against Alpena… three weeks ago.” 

Sam Webb:  Obviously, you don’t want it to end that way but was it an injury that had been lingering, had it been bothering you for awhile? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “No, it just kind of came out one day when I was lifting weights.” 

Sam Webb:  Obviously that hasn’t stopped at all, the recruiting interest, as you’re clearly one of the top guys in the state.  How many offers do you have on the table now? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Ten. I know some of them.  Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Akron, most of the MAC.  I know a lot of them I just don’t know them all.” 

Sam Webb:  What schools have you visited maybe this year and what schools do you think you’re still going to get out to? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Auburn.  I’d like to visit before the process is over.  I’ve been to Notre Dame, Michigan, I am going to be at Michigan State this weekend for the big game.  Then I’m going to be at Ohio State at the end of November for the Michigan game.” 

Sam Webb:  What Michigan game did you go do? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “I went and watched them play Minnesota.” 

Sam Webb:  Let’s kind of get into that a little bit.  Obviously, there is a lot of talk, a lot of rumors about Michigan.  Do you hear that stuff about the coaches on the hot seat?  If you do, does that affect how you look at them at all? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “It doesn’t affect how I look at them.  It affects how I look at the school.” 

Sam Webb:  How does it change things for you? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “If they weren’t there it would be huge because I have a good relationship with them and a good relationship with them that I am fond of, so.” 

Sam Webb:  In the time that they have been recruiting you, have you had an opportunity to talk to them about that?  Have they addressed it with you? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Yeah, I talked to Coach Funk about it.  He said they don’t really talk about it.  He said they’re just trying to win the next game.” 

Sam Webb:  As far as your list is concerned, at one point you had a top list and then you said you’re looking at a lot of schools.  Do you have a list of favorites at this point? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Not quite.  I have an idea, but I am keeping it to myself.  I’ll release that in November.”   

Sam Webb:  Give me an idea of what the criteria is to make that list.  What are the things that are setting some schools apart above all the rest? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “I really like the family atmosphere.  It seems like all the players are close and a tight knit family.  Obviously, the degree that you can take away from the school is always nice and then my relationship with the coaching staff.  The feel of the campus, how the campus feels and how it feels to be there on game day, how everything feels.” 

Sam Webb:  Kind of talk to me a little bit about Michigan State.  What do you think of Spartans? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “The Spartans are great, man.  I have a great relationship with the coaches, Coach Tressel, Coach Staten and Coach Dantonio, all are involved in my recruiting.  I really respect and cherish those guys.  Obviously there success on the field is undeniable.  They’re doing well.  My experience with Michigan State has been terrific.”

Sam Webb:  What about Ohio State? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “A lot of the same man.  They have done well too.  Coach Meyer, Coach Warriner, and Coach Coombs are the guys that I talk to on the regular.  They really let you know how much they want you and when you talk to them, I’ve got to talk to my mom right after to stay grounded, but the love is definitely there from them and from me.  I really like Ohio State as well.” 

Sam Webb:  The school that is probably doing the best of all of them and barely lost that game last night, Notre Dame, what about the Irish? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “Notre Dame is crazy.  There is no bad school.  My experience with Coach Hiestand and Coach LaFleur, and Coach Kelly has been wonderful.  I stayed there for the UNC game and that was the best, off the chain.  It was just fun.  I had a good time at the game.  I got to see how Coach Kelly was with his players.  It’s a beautiful place, a beautiful campus.  There is a lot I could say about every school.” 

Sam Webb:  You have so many great schools and so many great relationships, how are you going to separate one from all the schools you really like? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “It’s a hard question. If they all are kind of even, they are all on kind of on the same level for me, I will talk to my mother, who will have some great insight on it and then if we both agree on that, that will just be by who is winning.  I hope I don’t have to make it based on just who is winning.  I’m sure one school will have something about them that will stick out and eventually break them away from all the other schools.” 

Sam Webb:  You said you’re going to maybe have a top list in November or so.  Have you had like a timeline for when you want to make you decision?  Are you going to wait until your senior year?  When do you think that is going to happen?

Thiyo Lukusa:  “It was going to be December 1st of this year and it might still be, but I doubt it.  Talking to my mom, my family members, and it just doesn’t sound like it would be the right choice.  It is just too early, there are more offers to come, there is more football to be played, there are more camps to go to.  There are official visits to take.  Committing means I’m off the market.  I’m not going to decommit from a school.  I don’t want to be that kind of guy.  Maybe December 1st but I don’t know yet.” 

Sam Webb:  Last but certainly not least, you were talking about going to the Ohio State game at the end of November and Michigan State this weekend.  Are you doing any other visits this fall or are those two trips going to be it? 

Thiyo Lukusa:  “I don’t know yet, I’m not sure.” 


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