Shrine Bowl Puts LB on UNC Radar

With a solid performance during the Shrine Bowl week that culminated in receiving the South Carolina's Defensive MVP, Sterling Lucas has grabbed the attention of several coaching staffs including North Carolina.

"A little after the Shrine Bowl – I believe a week after the Shrine Bowl – Coach [Sam] Pittman contacted me," Lucas said. "He said they really like me. Coach [Tommy] Thigpen, the linebacker coach, was at the Shrine Bowl [practice] and really liked me. They offered and want me to come up on [an official] visit."

Lucas, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker from Orangeburg (S.C.) Orangeburg-Wilkinson, also collected post-Shrine Bowl scholarship offers from Maryland, Michigan State, and NC State.

Additionally, Lucas quickly assembled an official visit schedule consisting of NC State on January 11th, UNC on January 18th, and Michigan State on January 25th. He's still in the planning stages regarding a possible trip to Maryland.

Given the sudden attention, Lucas isn't prepared to name a leader.

"I don't really have any favorites," Lucas said. "I'm going to take the visits in January. After I take my visits, I'll come up with my final decision."

Prior to this season, Lucas was moved from outside to middle linebacker. The shift made him more of a force on defense to the tune of 161 tackles.

Despite his senior season production, Lucas flew under the recruiting radar – until the Shrine Bowl week.

"Before the Shrine Bowl one of my goals was to come in [and make a name for myself]," Lucas said. "I knew the attention was going to come soon. I had faith it was coming. It was just a matter of time. I was just waiting it out. I planned on having a good game at the Shrine Bowl and getting a lot of exposure."

Lucas had more than just a "good" game. He led both teams in total tackles (8) and solo tackles (5). Lucas also intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. His accomplishments earned him South Carolina's Defensive MVP.

"It was just an honor – a blessing," Lucas said. "I just wanted to come out and play hard. That was one of my goals, also, to win the [defensive] MVP."

While his performance in the Shrine Bowl was impressive, it was on the practice field that Lucas made his biggest impression.

"[Pittman] said they liked my intensity," Lucas said. "How I just came out each and every day of practice and brought a lot of intensity. They liked how I used my hands to get blockers off me and avoid blocks."

Sterling Lucas Profile

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