Lugo Hoping Hard Work Pays Off

It's often lost in the shuffle of letters, visits, and fitted hats how much hard work is put into becoming a highly-touted recruit. The average recruit spends many hours per day and many days per year to get to the next level.

One player who embodies that is Nelson Lugo, a linebacker for West Leyden High School (Northlake, IL). Hard work is what earned Lugo a starting spot on the varsity team as just a sophomore, and now has him in position to play at the next level.

"I want to work hard now to get into a college," Lugo said. "Once I get in, work harder, not only in academics, but on the field."

Lugo stands at 5'11, 190-lb, and has continued to build his frame in the offseason with the wrestling team and track team. Now that he is in-between wrestling and track season, Lugo is busy lifting weight and doing speed training.

That hard work continues to pay off, as Lugo continues to get faster.

"I came in running a 4.6 on the 40, and it's gone down every year," Lugo said. "It went to a 4.5, now it's a 4.4, and I'm hoping to get it down to a 4.3"

With that great combination of size and speed, Lugo could potentially move to safety at the college level.

Interest is beginning to pick up for Nelson Lugo. His list of interested schools includes Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Penn State, and a few others.

Lugo had the opportunity to visit a few schools during the 2010 season, but one of his most memorable trips came in Evanston for the Northwestern-Michigan State game, a game which saw the Wildcats nearly pull off an upset over the then-unbeaten Spartans.

After the thrilling game, Lugo left Evanston feeling impressed with what he saw, yet disappointed by the result.

"They're a good team," Lugo said. "This year, I've pretty much watched almost every game. There have been some ups and downs, but you're always on the edge of your seat. For the Michigan State game, I was cheering. I was kind of down that they lost."

After meeting with Pat Fitzgerald, Lugo was excited about the idea of playing for the former All-American linebacker, someone who he has great respect for.

Lugo admires Fitzgerald's work ethic, something which he believes rubs off on his team.

"You can just tell by watching his videos, he worked hard and put a lot of effort into it," Lugo said. "Now that he's there, he tries to do the same for all of his players."

With spring practice starting up soon, Lugo hopes to do a few official visits, adding that Northwestern and Wisconsin were on his list of schools to see.

In the meantime, Lugo will continue to work hard for that opportunity to play at the next level. After all, that's what got him to where he is.

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