Chandler coach Shaun Aguano originally thought promising sophomore running back Chase Lucas wouldn't play varsity until he was a junior.
As more time went by, it was clear he could contribute this season, but maybe only as a backup running back and slot receiver.
However, injuries thrust Lucas into the starting role in the opener against Peoria Centennial, and it's safe to say he should settle in for the long haul.
Lucas has opened eyes since that first game and is already one of the best skill players in the East Valley. He is second on the team with 34 carries this year for 244 yards and five touchdowns and leads the Wolves in receiving yards with 171.
""The day before the Centennial game we made an executive decision that he would start," Aguano said. "I don't think anybody can take that job anymore."
Lucas had 103 rushing yards and eight catches for 89 yards last week against Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, one of the most talented teams in the country. His seven total touchdowns in three games is tied for fifth-most in the East Valley.
"At this point as a sophomore, I don't think we've ever had a better player at running back," Aguano said.
Colleges are already taking notice. Aguano said Oklahoma is coming out to practice on Thursday to take a look at Lucas.
The No. 4 Wolves face off against No. 2 Mountain Pointe on Friday night in one of the season's best matchups.