DANVERS — When recruiting this 6-foot-1, 200-pound outside linebacker/safety out of St. John’s Prep, there are “wild cards” everywhere.
First, there’s the lineage.
Then, there’s the legendary NFL Pro Bowl tight end, sitting quietly in the lawn chair, just off the 20-yard line.
And finally, there’s those size 14 feet, suggesting the potential for one more late growth spurt.
So as you watch Lucas Bavaro help carry St. John’s Prep into Saturday’s showdown here on campus against Central Catholic, you can’t help but ponder the future possibilities.
“You have to understand this is a kid that came to us and started as a freshman at barely 140 pounds,” said Prep coach Jim O’Leary. “Coming in the door, we knew was special, because he’s always been physical. To do that in our conference and play at that level, you know the kid has to be as tough as they come. And you could see that right away.”
The son of former Giants two-time Super Bowl champion Mark Bavaro and nephew of ex-NFL linebacker David Bavaro, Lucas has already been offered a full scholarship to Colgate, while Dartmouth has also applied the heavy pressure.
“One thing that sets Lucas apart is his football intelligence,” said O’Leary, who has coached NFLers in the past like ex-Dolphin Rob Konrad, quarterback Brian St. Pierre and ex-Giants offensive lineman Wayne Lucier. “He’s as smart a football mind as we’ve ever had come through here.”
As high school season progresses here early, Bavaro says no decisions are imminent.
“You know, we’ll see how the season plays out and how things go recruiting-wise,” said Lucas. “There’s a lot more work to be done before any decisions are made.”
Work, both on the football field and in the classroom, is something the youngest of three Bavaro siblings hasn’t shied away from. In school, he owns an attractive 4.2 GPA and scored an exceptional 1,830 on the SATs.