TERREBONNE PARISH, La. (WVUE) - It’s not just the natural physical ability.
“He’s a kid that will come out here on his own and practice his starts and practice his blocks,” says Terrebonne boys track coach Marty Collins.
It’s the work that he puts in every single day that allows Jaylin Lucas to excel as a football and track athlete at Terrebonne High School. As he puts it, between the weekday workouts, Friday track meets, and 7-on-7 football on the weekends, all he knows is the grind to get better.
“You’ll never see me taking a day off,” says Lucas. “I’m either here in the weight room, here on the field or on the track.”
Part of the motivation is in the family where elite athleticism seems to be a birthright. Lucas’s older brother, Ja’Khi Douglas, was also an outstanding athlete at Terrebonne, and now plays football at Florida State. Lucas doesn’t want to just follow in big brother’s footsteps. He wants to run past them even faster.
“Basically, my brother influenced me to run track,” says Lucas. “I look up to my brother. He taught me everything I know.”
“I’ll go out on a limb and say he’s even better than his brother when it comes to speed and track,” says Collins.
That also translates well to the gridiron. Running and often winning the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4x100 relay only makes him a better athlete each fall. Lucas says the biggest benefits come in the form of mobility and balance.
But while those attributes and speed are certainly a factor in both sports, there is a big difference mentally. In football, you might have 50 or 60 plays to make an impact. But running track, you often just have one chance or one race to leave your mark.
“(If) you don’t practice it, it’s not going to happen on meet day,” says Collins.
“I feel like nobody can mess with me, that I’m just that dude when I step on the track,” says Lucas.
As far as where he’ll play his college football, Lucas is keeping his options to himself right now and plans to make a decision later this year. Maybe it’s to Tallahassee to join big bro and the Seminoles. Maybe it’s elsewhere. But until he makes a final decision, we’ll just try to keep up.
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