Keevan Lucas talks rehab, new goals

Significant knee injuries bring out the highest levels of frustration for athletes, particularly college football recruits. For many athletes, these kinds of injuries -- or similar injuries -- also seem to bring out the highest levels of determination for the future.

For three-star wide receiver Keevan Lucas (Abilene, Texas/Abilene), nothing would be better than to step on the field at Tulsa next season and become an impact player. In doing that, Lucas would have accomplished two things.

First, he would have helped the Golden Hurricane on offense. Second, he would have quieted all the critics who didn’t believe in him making a full recovery after tearing the lateral meniscus in his left knee in October. Among those critics, Lucas said, are some of the schools that once recruited him but back away after the injury.

“Rehab is going good. I’ve started back running again,” Lucas said. “I’ve got some statements to make. Things just got real.”

The one school he hoped wouldn’t bail on him was Tulsa, and he committed to the Golden Hurricane in June. When Lucas found out Tulsa would still honor his scholarship, it made him want to work even harder for the good of the program.

“Next season, I will be playing with a chip on my shoulder,” Lucas said. “I have profound, new goals, and nothing is stopping me again. I’m coming back better than before, and I want to thank Tulsa for keeping their honor and loyalty to me. I won’t let them down.”

Lucas, despite missing nearly half of Abilene’s season, finished his senior year with 56 catches for 886 yards and seven touchdowns. He caught 68 passes for 939 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior, and the 68 receptions rank No. 2 on Abilene High School’s all-time, single-season list behind former Texas Tech star Lyle Leong.

Lucas will graduate from Abilene as the school’s all-time, single-game receptions record holder. During the 2012 season, Lucas had a 12-catch, 220-yard performance against Odessa (Texas) Permian on Sept. 21. He then topped that two weeks later with a 16-catch, 144-yard game against cross-town rival Abilene (Texas) Cooper.