Miami recruiting: OL Dontae Lucas discusses transfer decision

Dontae Lucas-Miami recruiting-IMG Academy

Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. David Wilson and the team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET from Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.

Dontae Lucas aims to elevate game at IMG in Bradenton, Fla.

Dontae Lucas has only been at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., for a few weeks and already he can see it will make a difference.

The 4-star guard already held one of the best reputations for an offensive lineman in the Class of 2019 before he decided to transfer to the high-profile academy. After his junior season at Miami High School, Lucas earned an invitation to the Future 50 combine ahead of the Under Armour All-America Game. He attracted a loaded list of major suitors, including Florida, Alabama, Georgia and, of course, Miami. The offensive lineman, who has also played tackle in his career, is all the way up to No. 8 among guards in the 247Sports composite rankings.

RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board

Lucas knows he can be better, though, and IMG, he feels, is the best place for him to do so. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound rising senior won’t actually get out on the field in pads for the Ascenders for another couple of weeks, but his first workouts alone are instilling confidence.

“The workouts are way different,” Lucas told DieHards. “The coaches are teaching me stuff that I didn’t even know. It’s different from my Miami-Dade [County] coaches.”

It helped pay off Sunday. Lucas returned to South Florida for the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in Hialeah, Fla., and earned offensive line MVP honors.

Lucas played with the sort of aggression that intrigues just about every noteworthy college program and performed a bit more consistently than he has in the past. At IMG, Lucas hopes a college-style program will help get him ready to harness his potential and contribute from Day 1 at the next level.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Lucas said. “I love the coaches here. I love the school. It’s like college.”

His goal of playing immediately in college is a major reason the Hurricanes are one of the early schools out in front for his recruitment.

Lucas says he’ll be playing right guard for the Ascenders this season and he’ll don a number at the position that should be familiar to Miami fans. By wearing No. 55, Lucas said he models his game after rising sophomore offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson, who started every game while healthy at right guard this fall.

“That’s one of the guys I look up to. He was a freshman All-American,” Lucas said. “I’d love to get time as a true freshman if I earn it.”

Lucas’ list of notable suitors continues to grow and it should only balloon further when college coaches pass through Bradenton during the spring. As much a destination for college coaches the Miami metropolitan area is, IMG will host just about every Division I school between now and the start of the 2018 season.

Right now, Lucas is keeping all his options open and plans to narrow his list to a top 5 during August. The lineman said a final decision won’t come until the early signing period, though, when he’ll end his recruitment and early enroll at the school of his choice.

Legacy 5-star hoops prospect visits for Virginia game

While the Hurricanes basketball program may now just be a NCAA Tournament team, it could take a leap during coming years. Broward County is loaded with top-flight talent the next two recruiting cycles. Miami welcomed the region’s two best to the Watsco Center on Tuesday.

Vernon Carey, the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2019, and Scott Barnes, the No. 1 small forward in the Class of 2020, both spent the evening in Coral Gables, Fla., watching the Hurricanes lose 59-50 to top-ranked Virginia.

The 5-star forwards are the two standout players for NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. NSU University, which also features blue-chip football prospects Josh Sanguinetti and Kenny McIntosh, currently sits at No. 4 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.

Miami seems to be a legitimate early suitor for both rising stars. Carey is the son of former Dolphins tackle Vernon Carey, who was an All-American for the Hurricanes in 2003. The 6-10, 250-pound junior has the Hurricanes in a top 8, which also includes Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State. He took his first official visit to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend.

Barnes is obviously earlier in his recruiting process, but has Miami in the mix, as well. The 6-8, 205-pound wing has also mentioned Syracuse, Florida, LSU, Oregon and the Jayhawks as suitors.

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of DieHards’ daily Miami recruiting notebook right here.

The post Miami recruiting: OL Dontae Lucas discusses transfer decision appeared first on Diehards.

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