COLUMBIA - Right before Liberty’s game against Rock Bridge began, Marcus Lucas, the top wide receiver recruit in Missouri, received a text message informing him that his mother had been pulled in late to work and was not going to be able to make it. Though Lucas would have liked his mother there, he understood what she had to do as a single mother.
“That morning she had told me she was coming and everything, then before the game she texted me and told me she couldn’t make it,” Lucas said. “That’s just what you gotta do as a single parent. She told me that she loved me, wished me good luck and said she would listen to the game on the radio. That meant a lot.”
Lucas’ mother, Monique Lucas, raised him to be the person that he is today, according to Marcus Lucas. That person now is a multi-sport athlete in high school and the top unsigned wide receiver in Missouri and the nation’s No. 133 player overall, according to Rivals.com.
“My mom has been there through thick and thin,” Lucas said. “She has always been the backbone for everything I do and she inspires me to do everything that I do. She wants to see me succeed just as much as I want to succeed. Everything I do is kind of for her.”
Everything that the 6’5” 185 pound Lucas has done so far has also drawn the attention of many big schools from around the nation. Mizzou, Tennessee, Stanford and Oklahoma are all schools on Lucas’s long list that have given him offers.
Lucas sees different advantages to going to different schools.
“With Stanford, obviously the education is always a good thing to look at and is very important to me and my family,” Lucas said. “Tennessee I just like how things are run down there. It’s a great conference and it could be a great thing for me to go there.”
Because his mother previously played basketball for Mizzou, Lucas already has many ties in Columbia.
“Mizzou is right at home,” Lucas said. “Every time I go there I feel right at home and that’s how it’s always been. I have been a Mizzou fan all my life. It feels right. I definitely would not regret going to Mizzou.”
Because Oklahoma recently recruited somebody else, Lucas has put them on the backburner.
“Oklahoma had their last commit go, so it’s definitely a thing to look at if somebody decommitts, Lucas said.
According to Lucas, he plans on waiting until after the season to make all of his official visits and then make a decision.
“If I know that a certain school feels right, then I will make a decision right after my visits, but I might wait until the deadline.”
While Lucas has attracted much attention for his skills on the turf, he displayed positive qualities Friday night both as a person and a teammate.
After a big hit to fellow wide receiver Jared Haferbier late in the second half of Friday night’s game, Lucas immediately went to check on him. Lucas stood over Haferbier checking if he was okay as he laid on his back on the Liberty sideline. Because Haferbier was on the sidelines, play went on. “Marcus!” a few of the linemen yelled. “Marcus! Come on!” Lucas looked back once, shook his head, and waived off the huddle as he returned his attention to Haferbier.
To Lucas, his teammate’s health was a little more important than missing one play.
“You know my players are my heart,” Lucas said. “It’s a team game and you know when you see a guy go down you want to be there for them. [Jared] is one of my best friends on and off the field and it’s just the emotions are so high in the game. He was there when I hurt my ankle, and I just wanted to see him get back up and I think that helped him out a lot.”
A little later Lucas almost made up for the missed play when the team was missing a holder on an extra point. As he stood on the sideline waiting for the next play, the players on the field screamed for a holder to come out. Thinking heads up, he began to run out to be the holder, before he saw the right guy coming.
“During practice I stand around at all the drill and watch or participate, just in case I need to be that guy that runs in there,” Lucas said. “I just wanted to make sure we didn’t make any minimal mistakes that might cost us the game.”
Lucas did anything but cost the Liberty Blue Jays the game Friday night, as he led the team with 7 catches for 65 yards and threw for 50 yards and two touchdowns in a comeback win over the Rock Bridge Bruins, pushing the Blue Jays Record to 7-1.