As much of the recruiting focus shifts to the rising seniors in the class of 2009, the players that signed with NC State last February are just weeks away from arriving in Raleigh. Pack Pride will catch up with several of the signees over the next several weeks to see what they’ve been up to since signing day as well as their plans once their career with the Pack begins. Today we highlight linebacker Sterling Lucas from Orangeburg Wilkinson (SC) High School.Lucas was the beneficiary of a tremendous showing at last year's Shrine Bowl. Following up on a week of solid workouts, Lucas went out and garnered defensive MVP honors for the South Carolina squad after tallying eight tackles, one tackle for loss and an interception.
Offers from NC State, UNC, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State and Wake Forest quickly followed, but the Pack had laid the groundwork for a commitment earlier in the year when they hosted him for their contest with Maryland.
Lucas would ultimately narrow his list down and selected the Wolfpack over South Carolina and UNC. He ended his prep career rated a three-star prospect and the No. 23 middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com.
Sterling, what have you been up to since signing day to get ready for your transition to college?
I've been working hard in the weight room. I've been running, getting in shape and just working out every day. I worked out with the track team some and did a lot of drills. I didn't run track, though. I just worked out with them.
Are you planning to report with most of the other freshmen on July 6?
Yes, that's when I'm planning to arrive.
Talk about the Shrine Bowl and how important that was to your recruiting.
It was a very good experience at the Shrine Bowl and I had a great time there. I enjoyed the whole recruiting process but when it boiled right down to it, I found that NC State was the right place for me.
What was the main thing that sold you on the Wolfpack?
I felt like it was the coaches. I really liked the coaches. I could see myself there and at the game, I really liked the atmosphere and just everything about it.
Do you know which one of the linebacker positions you'll be starting out at once you get to NC State?
I was talking to the coaches, and they said I'm going to be playing outside linebacker.
Who do you feel like you would have ended up playing for had you not selected NC State?
I can't say, I'm just glad I chose NC State. I can't really say South Carolina or North Carolina because we've got to play both of them in this upcoming season.
Is that opening game with South Carolina something you're looking forward to?
Oh, that's on my mind every day. I look forward to it every day.
Being a South Carolina guy, do you hear much about that game from your Gamecock friends?
I've got a couple of Gamecock friends playing on my football team and a lot of people around here are Gamecock fans so I just tell them we're going to put it on them on August 28th.
What are you planning to major in once you get to NC State?
Either Business Administration or Marketing.
Scouting Report: "After a standout senior season, linebacker Sterling Lucas proved he can play right alongside some of North and South Carolina's best at the Shrine Bowl. That helped him earn numerous scholarship offers and for good reason. Lucas, at 6-2, 220 pounds, has a college-ready frame now and he made good use of that this past season. On film, what really stands out is Lucas' ability to shed blockers, avoid interference and make plays consistently. Lucas appears to have solid instincts and reaction time to get to the ball-carrier quickly.
"Lucas has great lower body strength and this helps him excel as a tackler. He does a good job of wrapping up and driving through the ball-carrier. Lucas does not have blazing speed and quickness will likely be something he'll work on as he transitions to division one football. However, he is a fundamentally sound football player that goes 100% and that should mesh well with Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien's plan for NC State football." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
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