MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With summer workouts in full-sweat and the start of West Virginia preseason camp less than 40 days away, MetroNews continues counting down our Top 10 Most Pivotal Players for the 2014 season. Today we highlight a lineman who was benched last season and now is being entrusted as an edge protector:
No. 4 MARQUIS LUCAS
Position: Right tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Measurables: 6-4, 310
His progression at left guard was abruptly stunted last season after four games—and after the 37-0 loss at Maryland specifically—when offensive line shuffling sent turned Lucas into a backup. He appeared sporadically in six additional games and played 271 snaps, before shifting to tackle during the offseason. He’ll replace two-year starter Curtis Feigt who graduated.
The new position isn’t foreign to Lucas, who was recruited as a tackle coming out of Miami Central High, and he claims to feel more natural being back outside. But in the Big 12 he’ll face a flurry of sack-hungry, NFL-caliber defensive ends like Devonte Fields, Cedric Reed, Charles Tapper and Ryan Mueller.
The season opener brings an immediate test for Lucas, as Alabama’s two-deep at defensive end and Jack linebacker features a couple five-star recruits and four more four-star guys.