N’Keal Harry and Chase Lucas, two of the best football players to graduate from Chandler High School, are teammates again, playing for the Arizona State Sun Devils and getting ready to partner once again to make an impact, this time at the next level.
They graduated in 2016 and both committed to play for the Sun Devils – announcing their decisions just seven days apart.
Harry, generally considered to have been one of the best high school wide receivers in the state during his senior year, had an outstanding freshman season last year at ASU. Lucas, a highy-recruited running back/receiver who is now transitioning to play cornerback for the Devils, was redshirted last season as he learned the ropes of playing defense in a position he has never played before.
This season, the dynamic duo will likely be on the field together again, one on each side of the ball this time.
ASU head coach Todd Graham had always seen Lucas as an addition to his secondary, which is in dire need of help after finishing the past two seasons ranked last in the country in pass defense. Since playing good defense begins with quick reaction, Graham figures Lucas’ quick feet and impressive ability to change direction on a dime would be a natural fit for his defensive backfield.
Those were the same traits that made the 6’1″, 180-pound athlete a dual threat in the Chandler offense. He capped off his prep career by rushing for 2,219 yards and added more than 1,000 receiving yards as a senior.
While Lucas was a big catch for the Sun Devil program, Harry was the jewel of the 2016 recruiting class, just the second 5-star recruit pulled in by Graham while at ASU. He was considered the No. 1 prospect in Arizona and, according to Rivals.com, the top wide receiver prospect in the country after finishing his prep career with 119 catches, 2,715 yards, and 25 touchdowns.
Rivals named Harry the freshman most likely to have an impact in the Pac-12. And they were pretty much on target.
Last season at ASU he set a freshman school record with 58 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns. At 6’4″ and 216 pounds, he makes a great target with his size and leaping ability. At Chandler High, he also played basketball, averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds during his varsity career. As they say, the kid has hops.
The Chandler High football program has made a number of contributions to the ASU program in recent years. Also on this year’s roster are 284-pound defensive lineman Jordan Hoyt, a redshirt junior who spent two seasons at UC Davis before transferring to Tempe, and redshirt senior Tyler McClure, a 285-pounder on the offensive line.
And, up until a couple of months ago, the Devils’ roster included one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, another Chandler graduate. Bryce Perkins threw for 3,001 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior to lead the Wolves to the school’s first state championship in 65 years. But, after a redshirt freshman season at ASU and a sophomore year on the sidelines following a major injury, Perkins transferred in June to Arizona Western College in Yuma.
Harry will undoubtedly be on the field for the Sun Devils’ season opener with New Mexico State on Thursday. And, after a strong showing during the preseason preparations at Camp Tontozona, Lucas has a good chance of being there with him.
(Photo: State Press)