Lucas picks up Gamecock offer

Orangeburg-Wilkinson (Orangeburg, SC) 3-star linebacker Sterling Lucas exploded onto the recruiting scene with an impressive showing at the Shrine Bowl in early December. However, while he had picked up offers from several major out-of-state programs since that time, Lucas got some good news on Thursday night from the home-state Gamecocks and new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

The 6'2", 220 pound Lucas, who is rated by as the no. 24 middle linebacker prospect in the country, hosted USC coaches Brian VanGorder and Shane Beamer for most of the day on Thursday. After extensive evaluation, Lucas believes the Gamecock coaches came to the simple conclusion that he's a player who could help their program.

"South Carolina offered me (Thursday night). It feels good. It's a blessing," said Lucas. "Coach VanGorder and Coach Beamer came by my school. They talked with me, watched some film on me, watched my basketball practice and then came to my house later on where they offered me. I guess they figured out that I was a player and that I can fit in their system and help them be a better team."

One of the highlights of the night for Lucas was the opportunity to interact with new USC defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who has a rich history of coaching linebackers at the University of Georgia and in the NFL.

"He seems like a great guy, and he really knows a lot about the game. He was telling me about how when he was at Georgia he put most all of his linebackers in the NFL. He told me about his NFL experience and how he knows what the NFL is looking for in a linebacker."

Lucas has been to a few South Carolina home games in recent years and says that he's "pretty familiar" with the home-state Gamecocks, but he plans to schedule an official visit to USC in the coming weeks to learn more about them.

"I'm probably going to visit (South Carolina), but I still have to set the dates up. I'm just trying to evaluate everything."

Lucas visited N.C. State last weekend and will make the trek to Chapel Hill this weekend to check out UNC. He has a tentative trip to Maryland scheduled for January 25th, and he mentioned that he may visit Wake Forest in the coming weeks as well. While many prospects begin to feel overwhelmed with the recruiting process this time of year, Lucas is taking everything in stride and is thankful to be in the position he's in.

"Everything's been going pretty fast, but I feel like it's a blessing. It's a good situation to be in."

The Orangeburg-Wilkinson standout claims no favorites at this time. As far as a timeframe for a decision, Lucas said he will announce his college choice after he is through taking his visits.

"It'll come sometime after I take my visits. I'm going to take my visits and then sit down and really pray about it and try to make the right decision," he said. "I'm going to go where I feel most comfortable. The stability of the coaching staff is a big thing for me too. Those two factors are going to play a major role in my decision making."

Lucas, who runs a 4.6 second forty yard, closed by describing what type of player he is on the gridiron.

"I just come out everyday with the mentality that I want to dominate. I bring a lot of intensity to the field and a lot of enthusiasm. I love the game. I have a passion for the game, and I belong on the field. I just go out there and get after it."

Lucas racked up 161 tackles in his senior season at O-W, and he earned defensive MVP honors for the South Carolina squad at the Shrine Bowl. He holds scholarship offers from South Carolina, Wake Forest, North Carolina, N.C. State, Maryland and Michigan State.

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