Mike Brennan is entering his 14th season as a high school football head coach, the third of which he's spent at Blue Mountain High School. Brennan has experienced a lot - winning 102 games, two PIAA titles and coaching collegiate football prospects ranging from Division-1 to Division-III. But he's experiencing a first this year.
"I've never had a Division-1 kicker before," Brennan told Panther Digest
Brennan's got one this year in senior-to-be Brad Lukasak.
Lukasak, a 5'11, 165-pounder, had a solid junior campaign for the 7-4, District 11 AAA semifinalist Eagles, converting 42-of-44 extra points and one field goal, scoring 45 of Blue Mountain's 391 points which accounted for 11.5 percent of the team's season scoring output. Additionally, 14 of Lukasak's 59 kickoffs (23.7 percent) went for touchbacks. He is also working on his punting over the summer, and Brennan reported Lukasak is averaging close to 40 yards per punt during workout sessions.
Lukasak also plays soccer for Blue Mountain, and he said he still plays both sports. But if he had to pick which ball he'd rather boot - it's the pigskin.
"I do favor football," Lukasak said. "Everything is going very well with it and it's not something I'm going to give up."
Brennan said he's noticed Lukasak getting better every time he practices.
"He has gotten stronger and his leg has gotten stronger, too," Brennan said. "He went to (high school football kicking guru) Jamie Kohl's Midwestern Showcase camp and performed very well. He received a five-star rating from Jamie Kohl and is the only Pennsylvania kicker (in the 2012 class) to receive a five-star rating. Kohl ranks him as the 18th-best kicking prospect in the nation.
"He really enjoys kicking," Brennan continued. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a guy kicking the ball better than Brad (right now). I can't wait to see him perform under the lights on Friday nights."
Brennan said Lukasak not only gets it done in the football field - he gets it done in the classroom, too. Lukasak carries a grade point average above 4.0 and ranks third in his class of 247 students. He plans to become a pharmacologist and said that would require either majoring in pharmacy or biology/pre-pharmacy in college.
Programs like Cornell, Dartmouth, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee and Western Michigan are all showing interest in the Blue Mountain kicker, and he said Rutgers, Pitt and Northwestern are recruiting him the hardest right now. But, there is no clear favorite.
"Right now, I'd say they're all about even," Lukasak said. "I've been to Pitt, but I was only able to get to see their facilities on the South Side, which really left a positive impression on me. I'd like to get back and see the campus."
If either the Panthers, Wildcats or Scarlet Knights would extend a scholarship offer, Lukasak said he would not immediately pull the trigger and give a verbal.
"I would want to go on a visit and see everything, including the academic side of things, as well as to sit down with an academic advisor (before making a decision)," Lukasak said.