January 3, 2013

Lucas Cherocci could join brother at CMU

One prospect the Central Michigan football team is very familiar with is 6-foot and 218 pound linebacker Lucas Cherocci from Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice. Not only do former Brother Rice standouts Shamari Benton, Dylan Anderson and Tim Hamilton go to CMU, but so does his brother, Justin Cherocci.

The older Cheroicci came to CMU as a walk-on and became a full-time starter this season as he led the Chippewas in tackles with 132. With strong bloodlines, Lucas has had a great role model to learn from while he carried the torch in high school.

"My brother, he loves CMU," added Lucas. "He always tells me about the closeness of the team and how it's a brotherhood. Hopefully I can get up there and join him, because I've heard great things about CMU and it's a place I could definitely see myself."

Lucas currently holds offers from Hillsdale and Northern Michigan, but several other could be close.

"Wayne State said they are probably going to offer real soon, and Stetson is a school down in Florida in like their third year of football that basically has a full offer. I'm also hearing from Eastern Michigan who could offer soon, and Akron a lot. I'm just looking for a school that wants me, and has that brotherhood with their team. And I'm also looking for good facilities and coaches that really connect with the players."

One school that has not extended an offer, but still could be an option is CMU.

"I've heard from CMU a couple of times," added Cherocci. "They invited me up for the Michigan State game and that was awesome. Last time I talked to them was right before Christmas break, and they might have an offer for me or it could be a walk-on situation. I'll just have to see how it plays out and everything."

Lucas racked up 102 tackles, 7 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries for Brother Rice last season as their starting weakside linebacker, and he has played a huge role in the Warriors back-to-back Division 2 state championships.

In 2011 they went 10-4 and knocked off the likes of Farmington Hills Harrison, Detroit MLK and Lowell before wrapping up a state title. They followed that up with a 12-2 campaign in 2012 to add their second straight, including an opening round win over CMU bound Mark Chapman and Port Huron. Considered one of the top programs in the state, Brother Rice is led by an all-time great in head coach Al Fracassa. Fracassa has been the head man for 44 seasons and has more wins (416) than any other coach in Michigan high school football history. Last year's state title was his eighth, and he recently announced at the age of 80 that 2013 would be his last.

"Playing for Brother Rice is amazing. It's a great program and the tradition is unbelievable. When you put the uniform on, it's about more than winning, it's about keeping the tradition and learning from a great head coach in Coach Fracassa."

Central Michigan currently has two linebacker commitments in Joe Ostman and Jeff Perry, and they may be full at MLB, the position most schools are recruiting Cherocci for. He has another brother, Zach, who plays on the defensive line for Hillsdale College, but more resembles Justin in terms of size and speed. Whether he receives an offer or not, Lucas is a player to keep an eye on and could choose to join CMU as a walk-on.

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