Rutgers Commit Plans January Enrollment

One of the key members of Rutgers' 2011 recruiting class told he will enroll in January, which will enable him to compete for a starting position from the outset of training camp in August as he tries to fill one of the Scarlet Knights' glaring needs.

One of the unsettled positions on Rutgers' offensive line is right tackle, and Scarlet Knights commit and Miami Central's Marquis Lucas plans to compete for a starting position there next season.

Normally, such a goal would be nearly impossible to achieve for a freshman, but Lucas' circumstances are markedly different because he will enroll in January and participate in spring practice.

"At first I was slightly confused because it's my senior year and I'm going to be missing out on a lot of opportunities," the 6-foot-4, 295-pound Lucas said. "But when I thought about it, with my family and the situation we're in, I need to get going now, as soon as possible, so I can get the upper hand."

The family situation Lucas mentions revolves around the tough economic times in his household, and he knows getting his education is the best way to start helping his family from a financial standpoint.

"It's just rough right now," he said. "I've got a lot of people depending on me to make that big step…hopefully, the NFL. If not, go to college and get a nice job. Something nice. I just want to be successful."

With Lucas enrolling early, it will give him a head start on his degree, allow him to take part in the offseason conditioning and weight lifting programs, work with the offensive linemen during on-field non-supervised drills, watch film with the coaching staff, learn the playbook and participate in spring practice.

"At first I wasn't sure I wanted to do this," Lucas said. "But when I sat down and really thought about the opportunity, I'm going to get four or five months ahead of the other freshmen, so by the time they get there, I'll be one of the older guys."

And gaining an understanding of the offense is critical to being able to compete for a job when training camp opens.

"That's one of the hardest things when you're going to a new system, learning the playbook," Lucas said. "That's what I'm ready to do."

However, before heading north, Lucas plans on finishing his senior season in style.

Lucas anchors the offensive line for Miami Central, the 20th-ranked team in the nation by USA Today. After a season-opening loss to Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.), the Rockets won eight straight and are the Class 6A District 13 champs.

"The season is going well," Lucas said. "We've got our last (regular season) game Saturday against (Booker T. Washington) before the playoffs start."

One of the highlights of the season was a thrilling 25-22 win against archrival Miami Northwestern last month.

"It's always good to go in and beat Northwestern," Lucas said. "It helps your confidence and then we went on to win the district."

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