Sprout's Hometown Hero: Chase Lucas
Chase Lucas rushed for 883 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 436 receiving yards in his first varsity season as a sophomore. His junior year on varsity at Chandler High School, he tallied 1,126 yards on 155 carries with 13 touchdowns while adding 368 yards receiving as part of the 2014 Division I State Champions in his junior season. In his varsity career, Lucas rushed for 2,219 yards with 25 touchdowns and more than 1,000 receiving yards. The four-star prospect was rated as a top-5 recruit in the state by many outlets, with PrepStar labeling him as an All-American. To cap off his high school career, Lucas participated in the U.S. Army All-American game.
His freshman year at Arizona State was spent as a redshirt. As a redshirt freshman, he allowed just 40 catches despite being targeted 78 times for a menial 51.2 completion percentage while allowing an NFL QBR of 72.4 with two interceptions and six passes defended. Lucas was targeted more than any of the 23 Pac-12 corners that played at least 60 percent of snaps in the regular season, the Chandler native allowed the fifth-lowest completion percentage of any corner in the conference- regardless of the year. Lucas' 59 tackles were the fifth most on the team, with 46 unassisted and 13 assisted. The Sun Devils' secondary benefited greatly with Lucas, as he led them with two interceptions and eight pass breakups. Against Colorado, Lucas recorded a season high 12 tackles, 11 of them solo. In his redshirt freshman year, Lucas earned Pac-12 Second team honors for his defensive back efforts. Lucas was the only freshman to be named to either the Pac-12 First or Second teams last season and became the first freshman to earn First or Second team honors on offense or defense since 2014. The FWAA considered Lucas a freshman first-team All-American, and USA Today named Lucas to the second-team.
In the 2018 season, Lucas ranked sixth in the Pac-12 for most defensive stops with 17 and was credited with just two touchdowns allowed when targeted, which was tied for the 8th fewest in the conference. Nationally, Lucas had the 19th-highest pass-rushing grade among cornerbacks. Lucas' six quarterback pressures were second among all Pac-12 corners. On the team, his 62 tackles, 6 of those being for a loss and 2 sacks, was fourth.
Lucas cemented his starting role for the third consecutive year in 2019. One touchdown allowed in coverage this season was the second-lowest in the Pac-12 and 19th-lowest total nationally. His redshirt junior season consisted of 54 tackles and 4.5 for a loss. Against UCLA, Lucas made a season-high eight tackles, and recorded at least one tackle in 12 of 13 games.The Sun Devil secondary recorded 72 pass breakups, which was the tenth most nationally.
By his redshirt senior year, teams recognized Lucas as a threat, as he was targeted just 22 times on the season despite playing over 90 percent of the team's defensive snaps, allowing just 14 catches. An incompletion was forced on 27.3 percent of the passes thrown Lucas' way, which was the ninth-best tally among corners nationally. A score of 84.8 in pass coverage put Lucas as the highest rated cornerback in the league and the second-highest of any defensive player. With a grade of 84.7, Lucas was the highest graded corner in the Pac-12. Once again, Lucas earned second team honors.
The decision to remain a Sun Devil came after Jerry Neilly, the equipment manager, told Lucas he "can get in the Hall of Fame at Arizona State, and… can be a Chandler and Tempe, Arizona legend." After deliberation, Lucas told the Assistant Coach (Defensive Backs), Chris Hawkins, that he would be coming back for a sixth year. The graduate has been given team captain rights this season, after devastatingly being left off the list the previous season. Lucas and Frank Darby, the Atlanta Hawks' sixth round draft pick, were roommates, and Lucas hopes to join Darby in the league.