Turns out his focus paid off the way he hoped.
"I won state. I even have the medal in my pocket right now," Vincent said. "I pinned everyone up to the finals, and in the finals I won, 11-4."
From last year to this year the overall success isn't a lot different as Lucas said he came in second last season. But he said for him as a wrestler, that's changed entirely. "I watched film on my first match last year and then this title match, and I am a completely different wrestler," he said. "I'm smarter, more disciplined and I just know how to respond to different situations better."
That's the approach Vincent takes to everything, and now with wrestling behind him he's looking at the sport he loves the most. But you can imagine that for a defensive lineman, even someone playing on the edge as Vincent does, wrestling has helped him along the way. "It helps you with your quickness, your hands and obviously it helps with your upper body strength," Vincent said. "But football is different for me, because it's my life. I grew up playing it and it's really the only thing I want to do."
As of right now Lucas said that he has four written offers, those coming from Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Outside of Wisconsin, these are all schools he's visited before. "I have been to a couple of Kansas games, and I was up to Nebraska at their "Jr. Days" to see what that place was like," he said."
Being a native of Kansas, Nebraska is certainly a school he knows a little bit about, but Vincent said that the visit to actually see the place helped a lot. "The place was great. I mean, they have the facilities, the atmosphere and the tradition. Yeah, they are definitely one of the contenders," he said.
While there Lucas said he spent most of his time with who would be his position coach if he did go to Nebraska, Carl Pelini. "I spent most of the day with him, actually, and he's a really nice guy, a straightforward guy and a good coach," Vincent said.
One thing that these types of trips can't tell you, but something that is just as important as almost anything else, is the style which a coach has in dealing with players. Is he a yeller? If he a thinker? Just how does he relate to the players under him? Lucas said that's obviously important, which is why out of the three closest teams on his list of offers, he's going to be taking visits to check that aspect out.
"I will head to Nebraska for a Spring practice or two and their Spring game. And then I will head to Kansas this Wednesday and Kansas State this weekend," he said. "It's just a way to get a better feel for this, because the attention isn't crazy yet. I'd just as soon as it didn't get that way."
Vincent has already seen how crazy that can get, but from a little different perspective than he has now. It was with teammate, and now Kansas Jayhawk, defensive end Kevin Young. Young had actually committed to Kansas, changed his mind to Nebraska, and ultimately went back to KU. Vincent said that he's going to do his best to make sure that thing doesn't happen to him.
"I want to be sure. I don't want to go through that, because it would make something that's crazy already, even crazier," he said. "But I want to have this thing hammered out before my football season, because I don't want to have to deal with this during my last year."
Vincent doesn't say there are favorites, but he'll be looking at a few things right now, a couple of which may surprise you. "I want to major in either Psychology or Forensics. Those are the two I am looking at right now," he said. "I watch CSI and Investigation Discovery Channel, and I like those. We actually have a forensics class here I am taking right now."
That says that he likes to think, a person who tries to mentally sort out a problem to figure out the best solution. Lucas said that he does, but it's one thing he tries to leave behind him when he steps on the field. "You can't think too much out there. It's almost all emotion and just executing what you need to do," said the 6-3, 270 lbs. Vincent who finished last year with a reported nine sacks playing defensive end on a three-man front last year. "You just have to go out there and do it and make whoever is across from you not want to come out each series."
As for favorites right now Vincent says he has none. While his decision should come early, he's waiting until he can utilize the coming weeks and Summer to his advantage. One thing he knows for certain he'll be doing this Summer is attending at least one team camp. "I'm going to the Nebraska team camp. That's the only one I know of for sure right now," he said.
But it's going to be a process and a quick one, because he wants to get this out of the way and think about finishing his year off right. Wouldn't be bad if he could come away with a feeling then similar to the one he has now, with the state title in wrestling in his palm.
"It's one of the best feelings I have had for a long time. It's great. It's what I worked for all year," he said. "Would be great to feel that in football, too. That's what we will all work toward as a team this year."