PEARCY -- Lake Hamilton offensive lineman Lucas McCain on Wednesday signed his letter of intent to continue his football playing career at Harding University this fall.
The 6-4, 275-pound senior said he is excited about playing for the national champion Bison.
"I like Harding a lot and they were really interested in me, so I felt like I belonged there," he said. "When I went to the campus, it felt really nice; it felt like home. It felt like another place I could go to just to learn something new."
While noting that it is nice that his future team is coming off an NCAA Division II National Championship in December, he said he just hopes that he can contribute in such a way to help the team continue on the winning path.
Video not playing? Click here https://www.youtube.com/embed/U1KW97vIm4w
McCain, who plans on studying mechanical engineering, said Harding's offense is much like Lake Hamilton's in that it runs the Wing-T.
"That helped me get accustomed to it," he said. "And I think that's the main reason they looked at me, because what I do on Lake Hamilton is what they want me to do at Harding."
Lake Hamilton head football coach Tommy Gilleran said it is McCain's talents off the field, however, that make him special.
"One of the things, when division II schools come look, they look at (the student-athlete's) grades first and then their ACT scores and stuff like that, to see if this kid's going to make it through all four years and have a chance to stay in the program," he said. "And one of the things that Luc has had, he has a 4.2 grade average. When you tell them that, it's like, 'Well this kid's going to academically be able to make it here.' And that's a big deal to them. And then I think he made a 29 or a 30 on his ACT, and that really makes them excited."
McCain's ability on the football field particularly grew over the past season, he noted. As a junior, he garnered an 83% blocking percentage and had four pancake blocks. During his senior year, he blocked 87%, with 12 pancake blocks.
"That tells you the development physically," he said. "One of the things we loved about Lucas is, in the offseason, he would do all his workouts and then he'd go out and practice his track after, because he didn't want to miss anything to get physically ready for football season. And because of that, it paid off for him.
"And the way he just pursued it and played with it and things that he did that made himself such a good football player, I mean, he deserved this."
Gilleran, who played the offensive line position in college, said it is always neat to see offensive linemen come out of Lake Hamilton and do great things. He said he believes McCain will be one of those, noting that he has the size and the frame to play at the next level.
"The schools started coming around and really took a notice of him. And because of that, he has a chance to play at the next level at Harding University that just won the national title. He's getting to be a part of a great program. Also the thing I like about it is the faith that they have there in the Lord. That makes a bigger deal, I know, for him. And he's following a lineage of players since I've been here of offensive linemen."