With better than 80 players in attendance and many of them boasting scholarship offers from major schools, no one did more to impress this past week at the Shrine Bowl than Orangeburg-Wilkinson linebacker Sterling Lucas. Lucas was a standout all week in drills and his efforts culminated in him being named the defensive MVP for the South Carolina squad.
At 6-2, 220 pounds, Lucas finished the game with a team-high eight tackles, one tackle for loss and a huge, game changing interception. That play ended up being huge for the South Carolina squad.
"That was just me being in the right place at the right time," said Lucas "It was a big play. They were at the one yard line and it was big to stop them from making a touchdown."
That play combined with the rest of his efforts on defense raised quite a few eyebrows and Lucas talked about how it felt to come away with MVP honors and what the week in Spartanburg meant to him and his quest to earn scholarship offers.
"It feels great," said Lucas. "I was thinking before the season that I wanted to make the Shrine Bowl and try to get defensive MVP. I just wanted to come out and play hard. It was a great week. All the players just came together and had a great bond together. We just capped it off with a win.
"I feel like it will boost up my stock as far as the schools go. A lot of schools have contacted me since this week. I really just wanted to play hard and make a name for himself."
Headed into last week Lucas had just a lone offer from South Carolina State. During the week he picked up pledges from Michigan State and NC State. While the Pack's offer was new, Lucas wasn't a new name on the coach's recruiting board. They hosted the talented ‘backer in November for the Maryland game and made a solid impression.
"I went up there for a game and it was real nice," he said. "I loved the facilities and everything and it was real nice."
Lucas will now head into January with official visits planned for NC State and Michigan State. He plans to make his visits and evaluate any other schools that may offer before making a final decision.