Another starter is featured today, and it is one that has been a long-time contributor to the defense. He enters his final year hoping to be an anchor at linebacker, which is definitely a need.
Will Lucas - Sr.
Lakeland, Florida (Lakeland HS)
5'11", 230 pounds
2013 Projection: Starter at outside linebacker
Lucas was a tackling machine when he played at Lakeland High down in Florida, which is a national high school power. He led the defense of a nationally ranked team that reached the state championship game. He finished his career as the Polk County Defensive Player of the Year and with 315 tackles, 73 of them for loss, in a three-year high school career.
He actually came to Purdue early in 2010, going through spring practice after graduating from high school early. That allowed him to start two games and play in all 12 as a true freshman in 2010. He finished with 43 tackles, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble, and an interception. His best game was an 11-tackle performance in a 49-0 loss at Ohio State that DID NOT HAPPEN in the eyes of the NCAA.
As a sophomore in 2011 he started 11 of 13 games and had another good eyar with 82 tackles, 10 f them for loss. He also forced and recovered two fumbles and played well in the Little Caesar's Bowl with seven tackles. Last season was not as good, however. He only had 66 tackles as he briefly lost his starting job before coming back to win the team's defensive Pop Doan Award for the best performance against Indiana. He was second on the team with 66 tackles, his second career interception, and two fumble recoveries.
Lucas enters 2013 as Purdue's best linebacker. He is easily the most experienced and will likely pair with Joe Gilliam and Sean Robinson as the Boilers attempt to finally have a solid unit in the middle of the defense.