The next one up in VBR’s player previews for the 2014 season is rising junior cornerback Jordan Lucas.
Even though Adrian Amos is the best and most versatile defensive back on this Penn State team, Lucas had a great 2013 campaign in his first year as a starter and will look to build on that this upcoming season.
Lucas is from New Rochelle, NY and was rated by Rivals as a 3-star prospect. He chose the Nittany Lions over offers from Akron, UMass, Old Dominion and Temple. Standing at 6-feet, 198 pounds, Lucas has ideal cornerback size and his physical style of play allowed him to be pretty successful on the field in 2013.
Lucas impressed statistically last year as a sophomore. He was third on the team with 65 total tackles, tied for fourth with 4.5 tackles for a loss and tied for the team lead in interceptions with three. He showed an ability to get to the ball and also to lay a big hit on the receiver.
Phil Steele named Lucas to his preseason All-Big Ten second team defense for this season. And now that Amos is back to his natural position of safety, Lucas will probably be the one matching up with the opposing team’s top wide receiver.
New cornerbacks coach Terry Smith and defensive coordinator Bob Shoop should be able to come up with a bunch of different ways to utilize Lucas’ skill set. He’s a sound tackler, aggressive in coverage and he can also blitz. Expect something along the lines of 60 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, four interceptions and three sacks for Lucas this year.