Sometimes the difference between really good and elite can be really slim. With a running back recruit, if he does not have the speed to break long runs, then chances are that he will never be considered elite.
I don’t know if I’d put Chase Lucas in the category of elite running backs in this class yet, but he does have that elite trait of being able to take it the distance because of his great speed. He’s one of the top backs in the west in the 2016 recruiting class.
Lucas has outstanding speed and great lateral agility. His feet are so good that he makes it look easy any time he changes directions. Size is an issue with him. He’s slim right now and will need to gain weight and strength if he plans on sticking at running back.
As a one-cut zone runner, there aren’t many who can plant and explode like Lucas. He shows good burst and hits the hole with good speed. If he has the blocking to get him to the second level, he can make people miss in the open field. He shows good vision and has the speed to run away from most defenders.
Lucas can make tacklers miss, but doesn’t show the strength to break tackles. He goes down too easily when tackled one on one and needs to improve in this area. He has the feet and vision to be a good inside runner, but must learn to run tougher.
He’s a dangerous player as a receiver out of the backfield. He can do so much damage if given space and it will difficult for most linebackers to run with a player like him. He needs to be accounted for in the passing game because if he’s matched up against the wrong defender it will likely be six points.
His best fit is either as spread running back in a zone running scheme and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the transition to playing in the slot at the next level.
Because of his speed and athleticism, Lucas’ floor is likely as a dangerous third down back or a slot receiver. If he can become a stronger runner after contact, he could develop into a big time running back at the college level.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). In addition to here, he breaks down Virginia Tech recruits for 247Sports’ VTscoop.com, Notre Dame recruits for SB Nation’s One Foot Down, and is the recruiting editor for SB Nation’s Pac-12 blog, Pacific Takes. Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.