"They (Arizona State) are definitely going to be in the Top 5," Lucas said. "They're close to home, and in their system they showed me what I can do in open space. They have a great history with guys like Marion Grice who got drafted, so I know the system there works in college football. It's also a system that has you display skills that NFL scouts are going to look at."
The 5-11 175-pound Paul Lucas rushed for 847 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior and led a Pride offense that had an improbable undefeated season which culminated in D-1 state title. The running back is also a gifted track athlete who this year had one of the fastest 100m times in the nation (10.41), as well as some of the top marks nationally in the 200m (20.84) and 400m (46.86). All in all he feels that his attributes are a very good fit for the hometown school's offensive scheme.
"They run a lot of screens and have plays that put you in one-on-one situations," Lucas commented, "and they get people in open space and mismatches. It's very high tempo and I've never one to be tired because I also run track. So that is one really good thing about it.
"I haven't run too many screens (at Mountain Pointe), but I won't say that the coaches haven't used me the right way or anything like that. It's just that at a program like ASU there are so many other things I can do."
It's not only the success of Marion Grice that Lucas has taken notice of, but also the accomplishments of a fellow local running back, D.J. Foster, who has enjoyed tremendous success in his first two years with the Sun Devils.
"That something that sticks out to me, especially because he played as a freshman," Lucas stated. "It shows that the coaches will play you if you work hard and deserve it . They will make you a better player than you were in high school. So I know that if I came there and work hard I would get on the field."
Lucas remarked that several coaches on the Sun Devil staff have been in contact with him, and that tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Chip Long is the one coach that he interacts with the most. Their personal relationship is another factor that has put ASU in such a positive light for Lucas.
"Coach Long is very straightforward with me," Lucas explained. "A lot of coaches don't bring up grades with me, and he does so that shows me that he really cares what I'm doing in the classroom and not only on the field. He told me that 70% of the players came in with a low GPA but graduated with a 3.0 GPA or higher. They have the Scholar Baller program where you get to wear a patch on your jersey if you have a 3.0 or higher during the season.
"I've been working on my grades and I'm finishing my fifth summer school class. I'm going to work hard and I hope it pays off. I know I get it done (qualify academically) and it's just going to take a lot of work."
Aside from the aforementioned appealing style of play and obvious proximity to home, Lucas noted some other factors that have helped ASU make their presence known to him.
"I got a good feel for the school and so does my dad," Lucas said. "He likes talking to Coach Graham and he showed my dad what college football is all about and he has been very straight forward, answering all of his questions.
"They also have a good track team and actually today all the track coaches have started recruiting me. I know one guy on ASU's team real well, Ryan Milus, and he's been there for a while so I have been following him. Any school I'm going to go I'm going to do both sports."
2013 marked the first season Lucas played on Mountain Pointe's varsity team and even though last year he was one of the offensive standouts in the state, the running back feels that he could turn in even a batter campaign this year.
"I know I'm going to get more touches this year and that's my mindset – that I will be much better," Lucas said. "We had a lot talent last year and even our third strings could start for a lot of teams. This year we have a lot of transfers coming in and we should still be good."
Lucas said that ASU by virtue of being in his eventual Top 5 will get an official visit from him. The running back also has offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington among others. While he doesn't anticipate a summer decision, he doesn't wish to delay it until signing day arrives either.
"I'm not going to be the person that makes everybody wait," Lucas said, "or makes a big deal about it. But I want to take my time about my decision because this is where I'm going to be for the next four years."I don't mind going away from home, it's just all depends which school I like the best. I'm looking for a place where I can play football and run track. I'm going to see what plans the coaches have for me on the field and where I fit in the best."