Miami steps in and rises to top for West Orange DB Lucas Thompson

Winter Garden West Orange strong safety Lucas Thompson has been quite the attraction this spring. Recruiting scouts have been flocking to the Orlando-area high school to see what all the fuss is about with the 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete.

He’s had numerous coaches come to watch spring practices, and he had 12 scholarship offers when a huge one came in on Monday. The Miami Hurricanes invited him to the ‘U.’

“It’s exciting … shocking and exciting at the same time,” said Thompson. “It’s shocking to be getting recruited like this, especially since last year I wasn’t getting anything. I say since I started going to all the combines, and I’ve been doing good at all of those combines, that’s what helped me get all the attention.”

Now he has 13 offers, with Miami on top, followed by Washington State, as his top two. Other schools which have offered Thompson are UCF, FIU, East Carolina, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Marshall, Memphis, Mississippi, Temple and SMU.

“Yeah, [Miami] shot to the top of the list, them and Washington State,” Thompson said. “All my family is in Florida though, so it would be kinda hard to go that far. I’d just have to get used to it if I go out of state since everybody is here.”

Thompson said he currently carries a 2.5 GPA coming out of his junior year, but will be taking what is called a “grade forgiveness” program this summer with the Florida Virtual School. Thompson said once he comes out of that program, he should see his grades rise to an overall 3.4 GPA.

“I’m not gonna lie. I struggled my freshman year,” Thompson said. “But now I’m focused and I know I have to get the grades up.”

“He’s worked so hard on the field and off the field. He’s having a strong academic finish to this year,” West Orange coach Chip Petree said. “He’s taken himself from an in-state Florida recruit to a national recruit  and we’re really, really thrilled.

“It’s really exciting the number of coaches who have been here at our school interested in our kids. It’s a great time to be a Warrior.”

Petree is not surprised to see UM jump to the leader spot on Thompson’s list.

“The University of Miami still holds a lot of stroke with our local kids ,” Petree said. “We’re very, very flattered and very, very appreciative of every school that has come out here.

“Now he’s in the middle of trying to decide which official visits he will go on.”

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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