Taylor Lucas of Bryan County has emerged as one of the top offensive linemen in the area.
As a freshman, we was considered anything but a prospect even to play. "He was the lineman, who as a freshman, we never thought he'd get to play at all," says Coach Ron Lewis. "He's the reason you coach football, too. Through a combination of ply metrics, maturity, growing older, getting a little wiser, he's improved far beyond his other line mates. He had a lot further to go, also. He's the reason I like coaching, to see someone go from what we thought was nothing to something pretty special."
His offensive coordinator, Blake Nesmith, says about Lucas "success comes from a rare combination of size, strength, speed, and intelligence."
The 6' 2", 280-pound Lucas is one of the better weight lifters on the team, benching 295 pounds, squats 465, 285 in the power clean and dead lifts 525. In track, he holds the school record and is the Region 3-A champion in the shot put. And, he's also a top student, getting "A's" in Geometry and Algebra 2.
Lucas plays both offense and defense for the Redskins. On defense, at least if you make a tackle, people will notice. Not so in the offensive line, but that doesn't bother Taylor who plays football for the right reasons. "No, you just play as a team," says Lucas. "When the team scores, it's not anything individual. It's you worked your heart out for the team. We just do what we're told to do. We want to win, so we play our position and let them get the glory, that's fine."
Being an offensive lineman is nothing but hard work. However, that hard work is something that Lucas enjoys, "It's fun. I love it. Just pounding people, putting them on their backs. That's what I love. Every time you put someone on their back, you get happy. You want to get up and do it again."
His biggest thrills come when he sees one of the Redskins racing for a touchdown, "Oh, man, it's wonderful. It's a sense of accomplishment. You were a part of that play, helping your team win. It's great, Friday night football."
Lucas says he would much rather block on the running plays. "We don't pass much, I'd rather run block. You just get to pound people like that. You make a block, get up and try to get another one. You open up the hole for the running back and let them get the glory."
Lucas also plays defensive end where he learns more about playing on the offensive side of the ball. "The technique, what you're doing to get around that offensive lineman they're going to do to you when you're playing offense," says Lucas. "You are able to predict more often what they're going to do. If you're playing defense your offense gets better because you know the technique that defensive lineman is going to use against you."
Lucas' biggest dream is to play his college football in nearby Statesboro. "I'd really like to play for Georgia Southern," says Lucas. "We went to their camp this summer and did pretty good. I really want to play for Georgia Southern."
Coach Lewis adds, "He's working toward that goal. He wants to play at Georgia Southern and he can play at Georgia Southern. It's up to him if he wants to continue to work and keep his eye on the prize. My job is to make him stay grounded. Around me, he's going to stay grounded. The carrot is out there. He can get there, but his head can't swell up bigger than his pants."
It looks as if Eagles' Coach Chris Hatcher may have lined up a recruit for next season.