Treasure Coast High School coach Brian Kelly makes two things clear regarding his magnificent middle linebacker, Jeff Luc: One, Georgia is definitely still in it for him; and, two, Deon Rogers, isn’t some kind of throw-in recruit the Bulldogs grabbed just to try to lure Luc to Athens.
That said, Kelly added that Luc’s relationship with Rogers — who committed to the Bulldogs back in June — is not something to be discounted.
“As long as Georgia is still in it with Deon they’re still in it with [Luc],” said Kelly, who coaches both players at the four-year-old Port St. Lucie, Fla., school. “Deon is one of his buddies and friends and family are very important to Jeff. He and Deon hang out a lot.”
Of course, it will take more than that to win the sweepstakes for the 6-foot-1, 230- pound Luc (pronounced LUCK). A consensus 5-star prospect and the No. 1-rated linebacker in the nation, Luc commanded more than 50 offers at the outset of his recruitment as a junior last season.
“I’ve narrowed down to about nine,” Luc told me proudly Tuesday night. “Pretty good compared to 50.”
And, yes, Luc said, Georgia is still on there.
“Actually, I talked to Coach [John] Jancek today,” he said of the Bulldogs’ linebackers coach. “I like [Georgia]. The defense is young. They’ve got some linebackers that can play that I come in and learn from. I like Coach Jancek a lot. I like the players. I’m still interested.”
Luc said his other eight schools are Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee and Southern Cal. That’s listed alphabetically. Luc emphatically claims no leader.
That said, rumors were running rampant that the Gators were Luc’s favorite as he attended the Florida-Tennessee game as an unofficial visitor this past weekend. Of that trip Luc said only that “it was intense. Very intense.”
Luc said he has liked Georgia and Athens ever since he attended the Mark Richt Football Camp along with Rogers this past summer. Rogers committed to the Bulldogs not long after that mid-June session.
Kelly insists it was Rogers’ performance in that camp that moved the Bulldogs to offer, not anything about Luc.
“He had an outstanding camp up there,” Kelly said of the 6-2, 195-pound linebacker. “He’s probably the fastest kid on our team and he really showed them that speed up there. They just really liked what they saw.”
As for Luc, Kelly said, “He’s got the whole package: Great speed, tremendous quickness and explosiveness. He’s still learning how to play the game and that’s why he has such a tremendous upside because his learning curve is so high. I will be extremely surprised if he doesn’t play on Sundays.”
Georgia can only hope they can get Luc back on campus. There has been talk of Rogers making his official visit the weekend of Oct. 3 and Georgia’s game against LSU and brining Luc with him. But Luc remains non-commital regarding if, whenr o where he will make any official visits. “I’m not too sure,” he says each time asked.
As for the Rogers factor, Luc said they’re definitely good friends but he’s not sure how much it might ultimately factor in.
“It’s a great relationship,” he said. “We’re always around each other, on the field, off the field. We do a lot of things together. . . I mean, that’s crossed my mind, but I’ve got to look at it for me, you know?”