Transfer DL Anthony Lucas ready for fresh start at USC
After a tumultuous freshman year at Texas A&M, Lucas is grateful for a fresh start and Trojans coach Lincoln Riley is happy to have an intriguing athlete with a high ceiling
Adam Grosbard (OC Register) — LOS ANGELES — Even from across the practice field, it’s not hard to spot new USC defensive lineman Anthony Lucas (#6). At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, he towers over his teammates, even at a position known for its size.
But Lucas has always been characterized as “can’t miss.” It’s why he was a five-star recruit out of Chaparral (Ariz.) High when he committed to Texas A&M.
After a tumultuous freshman year in College Station, though, Lucas entered the transfer portal and committed in January to USC, a school he was familiar with from high school recruiting. And as spring practices have progressed, he’s grateful for the fresh start.
“I saw the opportunity and I took it,” Lucas said. “Seeing the environment and culture that they had, I just wanted to come and be a part of it.”
Lucas was part of a record-setting recruiting class that was supposed to lift the Aggies to glory, but his time with A&M ended with less acclaim. He was one of four freshmen suspended due to a locker room incident following the Aggies’ road loss to South Carolina, a third straight defeat for the team.
All told as a freshman, he played in seven games and had seven tackles.
“The situation that went down over there, I didn’t feel like I fit in at the culture over there,” Lucas said. “I chose to remove myself from the situation. … Why am I going to elongate a stay at somewhere I’m obviously not wanted?”
Still, when Lucas hit the transfer portal, he was a natural fit for USC. From the West Coast footprint and a high-ceiling prospect, he filled a need for the Trojans after Coach Lincoln Riley was unable to add many high schoolers in his first recruiting cycle at USC.
Riley said the vetting process for Lucas did not look significantly different than any other recruit, but it helped to have offensive line coach Josh Henson familiar with Lucas from his time recruiting him to A&M.
“We felt good early on about the kind of guy that we were bringing in, the kind of player,” Riley said. “To this point, everything he’s showed us has backed that up.”
Lucas was impressed with USC’s 11-3 campaign in Riley’s first season at the helm, and he liked the connection he had with defensive line coach Shaun Nua from his original recruitment, describing the coach as a surrogate father. With the Trojans close to his Arizona home, it felt like a good match.
“It’s USC. Regardless of what football ends up being,” Lucas said, “a degree here means everything. You get your foot in the door anywhere.”
But the Trojan coaching staff is pretty bullish on what Lucas will be able to do on the football field.
“He’s intriguing, he’s exciting. He’s a unique athlete for his size. Just not many body types like that walking around and to have the athleticism behind it has been great,” Riley said of Lucas, who also plans on playing baseball for USC next spring. “His work ethic has been great, he’s really bought into everything we’re doing.”
And he arrives at USC a little wiser after his learning experience at Texas A&M.
“Just make sure you just surround yourself and make sure you’re always in a good place at the right time,” Lucas said. “Just make sure that you have a clear conversation with all of the coaches around and make sure I keep my head on a straight line.”
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USC flashing the fight on sign on twitter. Duce? Raiola?
Humorous conference realignment: https://www.on3.com/teams/usc-trojans/news/musings-from-arledge-the-musings-conference-realignment-plan/
USC (14-8-1) baseball swept WSU this weekend at Dedeaux and is now on a 9-1 winning streak with series victories over STAN, CAL and the Cougs.
Today, SC won, and the bruins lost to UDUB.It is very early in conference play, but the Trojans are 7-2, and in first place!
It sure seems like USC’s move to the B1G is going to meaningly expand our national recruiting footprint when you look at all the far-away guys Lincoln Riley is after. I think I may have originally underestimated this particularly powerful aspect of the benefits to USC football (and all sports) by giving the Pac-10 the finger. It makes USC a much more national school, even though we’ve always had a lot of clout in that arena. Plus, allsides.com — “The University of Southern California is enlarging its operations in Washington with the acquisition of a 60,000-square-foot building near Dupont Circle… Read more »
Mark Sanchez makes it back to his old stomping grounds
Always Liked Travis Udall (his fake ID name). Saw the Mexican mouthpiece absolutely OWN the french whores of Notre Dame in person. Still makes me smile. It’s hard to say who is better, Leinart or Sanchez as a football commentator. Both are bright, articulate, and know their stuff.
Sanchez shows up on Colin Cowherd every once in a while. He knows the game for sure and talks like he could coordinate an offense. I never saw Pete Carroll openly unhappy in public except when he had to watch Sanchez declare he was leaving USC for the NFL.
S……D……S……U…..S.D.S.U., FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. Who’s the best team in SoCal? There is a team in Southern California that can beat Alabama!
That was really a good win, SDSU all the way.
Great to see the AZTECS do this. Just great. To shut up the TIDE like this is a fantastic way to start off the weekend.
Wow. No. 1 seed Alabama is done. So is Houston.
San Diego State’s defense swarmed the Crimson Tide on Friday while an offensive outburst from senior guard Darrion Trammell sealed the deal as the Aztecs upended the Crimson Tide, 71-64, in the Sweet 16. The win eliminates the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed and likely ends the collegiate career of Alabama star Brandon Miller. Alabama joined Houston in losing Friday, ensuring that no No. 1 seeds will advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in NCAA tournament history.
Those #5 seeds rocked it today.
It’s hype season again. I love reading about new names on the roster. The caveat is that in the recent past hype was just that. We’d read about players and maybe see them at the glorified spring practice, then they’d be gone or limited.
With Riley the hype is less hype and more of a preview. There’s more of a spring game and some real surprises.
I can’t wait to see if the defense steps up. We need to get Caleb his Championship trophy before he becomes the next first pick in the draft.
All true. I enjoy and revel in the hype though.
It sure beats losing to the Zags after crumbling away a giant lead only to get daggered by a perfect 32-footer that carved the heart right out of the broken little gutties. Some moments in sports are incapable of being forgotten, like last night and the end of the Cotton Bowl. Two Goliaths slayed by Davids.
Agreed with everything but Gonzaga is every bit of a Goliath or more than the gutties these days.
When dreaming up my irresistible analogy, I was thinking more along the lines of relatively remote Gonzaga has less than 5,000 undergrads on 152 acres. Massive UCLA’s 420-acre campus had over 32,000 a year ago, as well as Wooden’s past massive dominance, which remains a giant Bruin advantage to this day. And you’re right. The Zags literally own UCLA on the court because of the greatness of Mark Few, their HC for almost 25 years. Gonzaga is truly one of the more longstanding inspirational stories in sports (to me) and I would love to see them finally win it all… Read more »
I am hoping they get it done as well. I live I Spokane. This town goes crazy this time of year for the Zags. I also coach basketball and run into the the players and coaches, even though they are worshipped here they are great about stopping to say hi or sign stuff for the little kids. Mark Few will never have to buy a meal or Dri k in this city again.
I don’t know what Mark Few told his team at the half when they were down by 13 while UCLA was just cruising along. But he must be a genius.
Either that, or depleted UCLA just ran out of gas, ran out of turnover luck, and with no shots dropping or rebounding presence, the party was over. And then came the shot!
I can’t wait to see the Zags vs the Huskies tonight at 5:30 (TBS)
Sorry guys, Zags lose to Aztecs in the final!👹🏀👺
Defense wins championships.
I would be curious to know what was it about the culture at A&M he didn’t like and what is different about USC for him? LR wants team players first and foremost. Is A&M all about me and my NIL?
The Athletic — “Multiple freshmen from the Aggies’ record-setting class missed games because of suspensions. Injuries and maturity issues plagued the roster. Texas A&M’s 2022 season was an unequivocal nightmare that left the program at a critical crossroads, with questions about the direction of the offense, the stability of the roster and even Jimbo Fisher himself, as fans called for his firing.
“Can Fisher rein in the disciplinary issues that plagued the team last season? And, perhaps most importantly, is he willing to relinquish control of the offense once and for all?”
Nice Allen, says it all about A&M. Should be a breath of fresh air for Lucas. Other players around the country should be taking notice. Big NIL deals do not make a NC team.
He sounds like he has already had some serious education, learning some lessons and getting into a better environment.
I like this too from LR — “He’s intriguing, he’s exciting. He’s a unique athlete for his size. Just not many body types like that walking around and to have the athleticism behind it has been great,”
It sounds like Anthony Lucas could be everything Korey Foreman hasn’t been.
After Foreman’s interception late in the UCLA game this past year, I’m still holding out some hope that he will live up to the hype when he came to USC. The only other guy I remember with that much pre-enrollment hype was Bru McCoy. What a disappointment he was! Ended up transferring to TEN as I recall.
Sorry, but I don’t see any hope for that at all. Foreman can certainly still contribute to USC football, and his wonderful pick against UCLA establishes a Trojan football legacy at USC that will always be noteworthy. But the horrible throw by a desperately overwhelmed and impatient DTR was what this game-ending UCLA pick was really all about. Typical DTR. After what he did to USC in 2021, it was sure fantastic to see him crying on his home field in 2022. But I watched Foreman pretty carefully (when he was in) over 2022 (only 13 stops), and he just… Read more »
It was great seeing DTR cry as he had predicted UCLA would drop 60 on us like 2021. I don’t know who will be the little gutties QB this coming season, but I’m sure glad Caleb Williams is back for USC.
Imagine what would have happened against both ND and UCLA last season if Clay Helton were still our coach?! Wipeout City.
If Bohn had returned Clay in 2022, we would have lucky to win 2 games. We would not have had the talent infusion we got and what talent was there would have transferred out.
I couldn’t imagine. I always felt Clay was a nice guy who was in way over his head at USC. He’s always say the team would be more disciplined and the opposite happened in my opinion. I’m glad he found success at Georgia Southern. His brother is a good OC.
rlee, Based on the reports coming out of Spring Training, Foreman appears to be improving significantly. Both LR and Caleb each mentioned him as a D player who is really playing well. Remember, last year he played OLB and candidly, as Allen reports below, stunk at the position. He was consistently out of position or simply unable to make the play (except for one against UCLA). This Spring, he was moved to DL and that appears to be his natural position. Foreman had several issues coming in: first, he missed his senior year due to CA shutting down for Covid;… Read more »
One of my favorite Trojan plays ever! Boy, did we need this win.
Oh yeah! And now we know for certain that, but for that INT, we were headed for heartbreak. Actually, I knew that at the time, which made it all the sweeter.
It was a crushing blow to DTR. I loved, in a very cruel fashion, his numerous weepy face shots after the game.
Yeah, especially since they poured it on the year before when they had a freebie facing Wounded Clay.
Thank you for the update TrojanRJJ!. I don’t live in LA anymore where I was used to getting some information from the LA Times Sports section (it was the only section I read). I like this blog because it gives me some good information and everyone on here seems to be cool and supportive of USC Athletics.
Agreed. Based on reports from Spring Practice, Lucas is just a beast. Caleb said his play has been fantastic and used the example of a goal line play Caleb where Caleb called an audible and “it should have worked”, but Lucas correctly diagnosed it and completely blew it up. Caleb said it was an amazing play. Caleb only mentioned one other DL in his comments (it was Foreman, who is evidently hugely upped his game). Caleb also commented on both the ILBs (Cox and Tackett) being real studs. I fully expect that Shane Lee will be a back up next… Read more »