Recruit Focus: Zach Lucas

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Zach Lucas

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 2 Star (5.4)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.6)
HT: 6′ 5″
WT: 265
POS: Offensive Tackle
HOMETOWN: Katy, Texas
OTHER OFFERS: Arizona State, Colorado, Houston, La. Lafayette, Minnesota, Missouri, Rice
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 70%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Tackle
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Gavin Andrews, Gregg Peat, Josh Mitchell

STRENGTHS
– Tenacious blocker
– Very active hands, resets constantly and uses strength to compensate for lack of position
– Legs really churn on run blocks
– Very athletic getting to second level
– Great anticipation on blocks, maintains contact and changes direction easily
– Plays in a pass heavy offense and has great pass blocking technique
– Grinder on run blocking, very active
– Made a lot of people quit, sometimes with position

QUESTIONS
– Not much punch, relies on strength to push players around after contact
– Can over run blocks and leaves backside lanes
– Plays from 2 point stance, not sure how he would do in three point at OSU
– Leads with his head and bends at waist for pad level

SUMMARY:
Zach is another great Texas find. Currently just a two star rated athlete according to Rivals, but Zach will move up this year.  Especially after the camp circuit.  He has visited Oregon State and liked it, but I think his recruitment is going to blow up a bit.  Since he visited the Beavers he got an offer from Missouri, and you can tell that he is interested in the SEC.  I still think there is a great chance he becomes a Beaver if he commits prior to his season starting, but I worry about teams closer to home swooping in and making a play on him.

All of that aside, there is a reason his recruitment is picking up steam.  Zach is a big, athletic lineman who is a strong and physical in his style.  His frame could hold more weight and he will get even stronger, but right now he uses what he has very well.  If you look at the 1:42 mark of his Junior Highlight film, you will see a good example of him losing position, getting ahead of the rusher, and then using his strength and athletic ability to maintain control.  He really holds strong with that right hand, without getting outside his shoulders into a situation where he would get called for holding and the resets his feet.  This is not easy and takes a lot of upper body strength as well as quick feet to stop and reset behind yourself to stop their progress.

In fact, he is so good with his hands, there are a couple times I saw the guys he was blocking turn to the refs as if to complain about being held (for example, 2:36).  Unfortunately for them, his hands are inside, his helmet is in tight and he will never get called for that. You also see him work well against multiple moves, whether is is a bull rush, a spin move or a swim, Zach uses his hands so well he just rolls with whatever is thrown at him. He also does a good job of dictating what they can do with his strength and grip. Like all the guys that the Beavers are recruiting right now, he is a finisher. He blocks guys into the ground often. As he gets stronger and heavier, he could end up being a pretty complete lineman like Gregg Peat was.

Zach has good technique, though he works out of a two point stance in his current offense, and he really dominates at the second level.  I don’t see a huge punch out of him, except when defenders jump in the air (which I love. If they leave their feet, make them pay), but he is so active with his feet and legs that he overwhelms guys.  He is also strong enough that when he brings his hands in, he can really push guys off of him and onto their heels. In run blocking he does a good job of getting his helmet in there and then bringing his hands quickly to continue the push.  You will see the guys he is blocking have their pad levels elevate as he is blocking them and driving them up and back. Much like Gavin Andrews, he is not punching the guy off the ground all the time, but is more connecting and then driving him into the ground.

My big concerns with him is pad level and how he gets lower.   It is not often, but periodically he seems to bend at his waist so that his back is flatter to get down to people’s pad level.  My worry is that against more athletic players, they will pull him down or use his head against him.  At 6’5″, he is going to be taller than a lot of the guys he blocks, so pad level will be tough, but if he bends at a weaker angle to get that low pad level, it defeats the purpose. There are a lot of plays where he stays a little higher but dominates with his legs, hand placement and feet.

Overall, this is another good prospect that will be a great Beaver player.  I added Josh Mitchell to the guys he reminds me of because he feels like one of those players that will sign somewhere, not get much fanfare and then all the sudden be in line to start as a sophomore ahead of guys that everyone thought were sure fire players.  He is also a smart kid (3.8 GPA) and from all I have heard is very coach-able.  I can see him being a favorite of Cav’s should he come to Oregon State.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Lucas come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 2-year starter at Offensive Tackle or Guard, and will probably be in the two deep by his sophomore year.  I would definitely like to see him redshirt a year to get acclimated and get a few more pounds on him (unless he comes in and just blows everyone away.  It is silly to project that far ahead on a 17 year old kid who is working hard.  Which is why I titled this section the way I did…).  He has a very high ceiling, so is definitely a guy to watch for Beaver Nation.

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