Big play threat looking hard at two

IT MIGHT END up a battle waged between two old friends these final weeks -- between Mike Price and Bill Doba -- for Xavier Lucas, perhaps the most highly sought receiver in Arizona this recruiting cycle.

Last year, Washington State came out on top when the Cougs and Miners went head to head on a California running back but this time around, there's some slightly different circumstances plus a little extra intrigue with ASU, Arizona and Oregon all lurking.

The ending to this recruiting tale has yet to be authored but based on the last few weeks, WSU might not be going after Tempe's Lucas (6-4, 190, 4.4) with quite the same fervor the Cougs did Dwight Tardy over his final recruiting stages in 2004. The Cougar running back signed with Washington State after a heated battle with Texas El-Paso.

"I think I might end up going to UTEP or Washington State, although Washington State I haven't (heard from) them much lately -- and with UTEP, every chance they get they've been talking to me," said Lucas. "So I'm kind of leaning towards UTEP right now...and UTEP might be edging a little further ahead. Price is a great coach."

Lucas has some work to do academically, and that may have played a role in some of the schools backing off a little. Lucas has also been trying to get a tape put together to send out to some of the schools who were on him earlier this season -- Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State.

STILL, TOPPING THE charts at 6-foot-4 and with 4.4 speed in the 40, Lucas is perhaps the most highly sought receiver coming out of the desert this year. He certainly has tremendous upside.

Lucas's three official visits have been to Washington State, UTEP and Colorado State, with WSU and UTEP the two he liked best. While he enjoyed his time at Colorado State, he said it wasn't the place for him.

"It went really well at (WSU and UTEP)," he said. "I like the coaching staffs The players made me feel like I was one of them."

IN ADDITION TO wide receiver at McClintock High, Lucas plays free safety, takes a few snaps at running back, returns kicks and also lines up as a speed rushing defensive end on third and long for McClintock.

Despite regular double teams and the fact McClintock ran the pigskin twice as often they threw it, Lucas fashioned a 1,000 yard receiving season on the strength of the big play. He finished with 1,015 yards on but 45 catches -- and average of 22.56 every time he caught the ball -- with nine TDs.

Lucas led the team in all purpose yards with a a 102 yard average, (184 and 28 hashes on returns and rushes, respectively), and from his free safety position, tallied 22 tackles including a sack in limited playing time.

As a junior, he had 29 receptions for 593 yards and six touchdowns. Lucas also had five sacks in his limited role at defensive end. Lucas is a three sport star at McClintock, excelling in basketball and track for the Chargers.

Xavier Lucas


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