Barbosa a mid-year surprise

Lucas Barbosa is a 6-foot-1, 240-pound inside linebacker/fullback prospect from Chino, Calif., and Barbosa is another early entrant for college, and one the Washington Huskies are looking seriously at. They've already taken one FB/ILB mid-year prospect in Austin Sylvester; would Barbosa be the next in line?

Barbosa spoke with Thursday afternoon, and he told us that he is on track to finish school in January and then go to college and be available for the next academic period in the school year, wherever that might be. "I've been doing summer school every year, so now I'm ahead in credits," he said. "I thought it would be a great benefit to get ahead in life. It really didn't matter for football as much, it was more for college."

But it's football that's going to pay Barbosa's way, and a few colleges are looking seriously at him - including Washington, Colorado State, UCLA and Northern Arizona. Barbosa was All-League as a sophomore and junior and All-CIF Southern Section last year, and is hoping to be a three-time All-League performer, but won't know about that until his football banquet December 12th.

There was one major switch, however, between his junior and senior years - a new head coach. Manny Saiz took over, and moved Barbosa from off the line of scrimmage back to inside linebacker. "It was a new position for me," Lucas said. It didn't stop him from racking up 162 tackles, six sacks, six forced fumbles and four deflected passes on defense this past season. On offense he had nine touchdowns.

"Really, I think it's my aggressiveness," Barbosa said when asked what coaches see in his game. "I really have no concern about my well-being, I just want to finish the play." Barbosa claims a 4.72 40 and a vertical jump of 27 inches. "I haven't been training for either one, so if I was I'm sure I could jump in the 30's," he said. He also claims a 365-pound bench press and 550-pound squat.

Barbosa feels the switch on defense affected his recruitment a little bit. "Nobody knows me as a linebacker," he said. "If I had played linebacker as a junior, I probably would be a four-star guy on Scout or Rivals. But it doesn't matter, because I'm giving it my all. I just love playing football, so it doesn't really matter to me."

The Rams already offered Barbosa, and he's pretty sure the Huskies are going to offer on his official visit, which begins on Friday. "I'll probably verbally commit if they offer me, no matter what," Barbosa said of the situation at Washington. "I probably will commit. But I probably would want to see another school, just in the best interests of my life."

So what is it about the Huskies that Barbosa likes? "They are an upcoming team, and I want to be a part of something special," he said. "Something like that seems like a great opportunity."

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