Maryland Athlete Says Yes To PSU

<b>Mike Lucian</b>, a versatile athlete from Frederick, Maryland, received and accepted a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions following his camp performance early last week. Why Penn State? What position is he being slated to play at PSU?

Name: Mike Lucian
Position: TE/DL/OL
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 247 pounds
40-Yard Dash: 4.85 seconds
Bench Press: 305 pounds
Hometown/School: Frederick, MD (Linganore HS)

"I'm done. I'm verbally committed to Penn State," Mike said Sunday evening. "I got my offer the day after Penn State's camp. I was talking to Coach Larry Johnson on the phone [Wednesday] and he told me that they were going to offer me. He actually wanted me to wait before letting people on the internet and newspapers know until I got my letter. I got my letter [Friday] and actually I haven't talked to Coach Johnson since then. He's been busy with camps and everything, but I left him a message giving him my verbal commitment. I haven't been able to get a hold of him this weekend. I actually lost his cellphone number, so I only have his office number and he hasn't been in the office this weekend."

Mike attended Penn State's summer camp last year and both the Blue-White game and Nike Camp this year. He returned to State College last Monday and Tuesday to participate in this year's camp. Upon receiving the written scholarship offer on Friday, Mike left a message for Coach Johnson reaffirming his commitment.

"That's the offer I was waiting for. Last year, I went up to Penn State's camp and I just fell in love with the place. Growing up as a kid, I was a diehard Notre Dame fan and my dream was to go to Notre Dame. But, when I found out that I had the chance to play DI football, I started looking at the schools that I liked. I've been to a bunch of camps, and Penn State just seemed like the perfect fit for me."

What separated Penn State from the rest?

"The coaches, I love Coach Johnson, he's a great guy. I like the area. It's not too far from home and it kind of reminds me where I live right now. Everything about it, the facilities, the coaches, the way that everybody loves Penn State football, and the whole town is the campus. I like that, it's pretty cool. I like it up there a lot."

Lucian, who also had a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech, started at both tight-end and defensive-end for Linganore last season, tallying 12 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns on offense and 80 tackles, 4 sacks and 1 interception on defense.

Maryland, Marshall, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Tennessee, Boston College and Virginia Tech were other schools Mike listed as recruiting him seriously. He took the opportunity to visit several college campuses prior to making his final selection.

"I've been to a bunch of camps. I've been to Tennessee, Notre Dame, Maryland, Penn State, I've been up to Boston College, I went to the Virginia Tech Nike Combine, Georgia Tech, that's about it."

The verbal offer from the Nittany Lions on Wednesday put an end to the unofficial visits.

"I didn't stay for the whole camp. I went for 2 days because I was supposed to go to Maryland's camp. When I was leaving camp, Coach Johnson was walking me and my buddy John Moravec to the car and he said, 'Both of you, give me a call at 12:30 tomorrow and we'll discuss what's going to happen now.'

"John's our star receiver. He wants to go to Penn State too and he's my best friend. He (Coach Johnson) wanted both of us to call him at the same time, so actually we were both in Coach [Rick] Conner's office when we called. I talked to him first and he told me about the offer and that was it, I was done."

How interested is Penn State in Moravec?

"He's getting looked at as a defensive back and they said they want him to call them back in like a week when they're done all their camps because I think they wanted to look at a couple of other DBs. I'm really hoping they take him. He's about 5'11", 175, but he's so fast. He ran a 4.4 40. He's a great player, so I'm really hoping they offer him."

What position is Penn State envisioning Mike to play?

"They're not even really sure actually. I'm getting looked at at tight-end, they said I could definitely play tight-end. They'd like to see me at defensive tackle maybe, possibly some center or guard and I guess maybe some defensive-end. They said that I was very versatile, so that was good. This was relayed to me from my coach who talked to Coach Johnson. He was the one who told me that they're not really sure where they're going to play me yet.

"I'm really thinking defense, d-line. That's what I'm hoping. That's what I'd like to play. I think that's definitely where I stuck out at camp. Coach Johnson asked me when I was there if I wouldn't mind playing defensive tackle and he said he'd like to get me up to 285."

Lucian worked out with both the tight-ends and defensive linemen while at Penn State's camp.

"I did 4 sessions total. I did 2 defense and 2 tight-end. I didn't really get to talk to the tight-end coach that much, Coach Kenney, but I spent a lot of time with Coach Johnson. He's the one that's recruiting me too."

Lucian, who is currently only 16 years old, may very well continue growing.

"My dad's like 6'6" or 6'7" and about 280 pounds. He grew a couple inches after high school so I hope that happens to me."

Mike, who is scheduled to have a phone conversation with Joe Paterno sometime this week, could be one of possibly three prospects capable of playing the tight-end position in college to sign with Penn State in February. Jed Hill of Struthers Ohio made a verbal commitment to Penn State last Monday. The Nittany Lions are still hoping to land Rory Nicol of Beaver, PA.

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