Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/11/12

Penn State is one of the most recognized names in college football, attracting some of the top high school players each year.  However, they currently have three players on their roster that all started their football career’s at the same small high school in England.  Yes you read that right, England, as in fish and chips, soccer, and warm beer.  They played for RAF Alconbury High School, a DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents School).  This is a school with an average graduating class of 25 kids.  When I played football there in 2004 and 2005 we had 23 kids on the team.

Brothers Kyle and Tyler Lucas as well as their friend Devin Pryor are all currently on the Penn State roster.  Kyle, a Linebacker, wears #26 and stands 6ft tall at 228lbs and is a Senior.  Tyler, currently a Quarterback but has also worked out at Wide Receiver, wears #13 and comes in at 6’3″ 195lbs and is a Sophomore but is a Freshman for football eligibility.

Devin, a Cornerback and Kick Returner, wears #16 and is 5’11″ at 170lbs and is a Junior but is a Sophomore for football eligibility.

All three of them started playing high school football at Alconbury High School at RAF Alconbury near Cambridge in England.  The same high school where I played football.  I recently had a chance to talk to them about all playing for Penn State, and here is what they had to say.

Matt - How as the transition going from playing for a very small DoDDS school in England, to a full American High school?

Kyle – “The competition was a tougher. Not just competition on the field but to start. When I played at Alconbury we had about 20 kids on the team so everybody played, Bellefonte at about 60 kids on the team and only the best kids made it on the field. It was also nice to actually play a full game season. We only played four game season at Alconbury and never made playoffs.”

Tyler – “The transition was not easy, but due to talking to the head coach prior my arrival in the states helped ease it a little bit. Also I was introduced to some players in my grade, which helped ease the transition.”

Devin – “The transition itself was a scary one, but not a hard one. Alot of the players and coaches really helped me to get acclimated to the program and kinda settle in. The one thing that really got me was the work load and how involved the players have to be. Football is a job here and there’s alot of work behind the scenes that people don’t know about.”

Matt – How special is it having played together in England, then having the opportunity to play together again at a Div 1 school like Penn State?

Kyle – “I never got a chance to play with Devin and Tyler in England, but having the chance now is pretty awesome, especially the chance to play with my little brother Tyler.”

Tyler – “ It’s very special to play with people you’ve know majority of your life. Also it helped me become more comfortable in the facilities knowing some of the players while joining the team.”

Devin – “Well like Kyle said I never got to play with him, but I did get to see him play overseas. As for Tyler it’s surreal to have one of my teammates from such a small program overseas playing on such a prestigious football team like Penn State. Its good to see how we’ve each progressed since those times as well. ”

Kyle playing at Alconbury High School

Matt - Kyle, how is it being a multi year veteran of the team and having your little brother possibly make the team as well?

Kyle – “Having the chance to play with my brother for the first time at Penn State is great.  I couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity and I am very proud of him for all the hard work he put in.”

Devin playing at Alconbury High School

Matt - Devin, how much more comfortable have you been knowing both Tyler and Kyle? Does it let you focus more on the little things being less nervous?

Devin – “Knowing these two makes things much more comfortable for me, these guys have become my home away from home. When we first came in alot of the guys on the team had their set friends and little kinda groups of people they chilled with and Kyle and Tyler were always people I had to talk to so I never felt left out or anything like that. ”

Tyler while playing for Alconbury High School

Matt - Tyler, how big of a help has it been having your big brother there to give you advice after having been on the team for a while?

Tyler – “ My brother helped me out a tremendous amount. If he never introduced me to one of the quarterbacks, Shane McGregor, who has helped me everyday being a quarterback, I would most likely not have made it. He’s showed me around and introduced me to some players and coaches which really helped make things easier for me.”

Matt – Tyler and Devin, both of you are rookies to the team.  What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Devin – “My biggest challenge has just been catching up really. Throughout high school I sort of just eased by through natural talent but here it’s much more about polishing your talent and making sure you can nail all the techniques. The coaching here is much more specific and precise and it definitely keeps me on my toes. But it’s been a learning experience and I’ve already picked up so much and am moving in the right direction so I feel I will overcome this challenge as well. ”

Tyler – “My biggest challenge was getting use to the work out routines and sacrificing free time. But overall it was totally worth it. All of the hard work will pay of for the team soon enough.”

Matt - What is 1 thing that you learned while playing for a small DoDDS School that has helped you the most so far at Penn State?

Tyler – “ The one thing that has helped me playing in a small school was knowing how much team communication and cooperation is valued.  This makes or breaks a team and with that prior knowledge helped me become more closer to my teammates now.”

Devin – “The one thing that I learned from DoDDS-E is the value of winning. Seeing as how Alconbury had always had a bad reputation for football, once we had started to put in hard work and see the fruits of labor i was able to see just what it meant when people say “hard work pays off.” My class was the first to win a football championship in 12 years, and to see my name on plaques and see trophies and pictures of us really attributes to the nature that we began to pick up there.”

All three of these players are my good friends and I hope all of you Penn State fans out there will wish them luck with me as they fight for Nittany Lion nation this season.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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