An 18-year-old defensive lineman has plans to make an immediate impact for the University of Alberta Golden Bears in his return to Canada.
Lucas Rudich was born in Montreal but moved the football-crazed state of Texas at eight-years-old with his family.
Adjusting to the football culture in Austin was an adjustment for Rudich.
“The first thing that the athletic director said for the middle school is, ‘We’re here to win, not make people happy.’ That was crazy coming from Montreal, but I was like, ‘ok.'”
The six-foot-four defensive lineman quickly embraced the Texas attitude towards the sport. He became a terror on defense — using his speed and athleticism to make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks throughout his high school career. As a senior, he led Lake Travis High School in sacks.
“I picked it up really quickly and it just became something that’s second nature to me,” Rudich said.
Rudich was recruited by schools in the United States and Canada, and made the decision to commit to the Golden Bears and the University of Alberta.
“Great frame, great quickness, he’s got all the tools to turn into a really, really good USports player, so we’re really excited about him long term, Golden Bears head coach Chris Morris said. We think he’s going to be an outstanding addition to us.”
“Coach Morris contacted me and we started talking and it just felt like the right place to be and I couldn’t not come here,” Rudich said.
“He talked about the team and what the guys are like and how they do things around here, and everything fit with what I like to do and how I like being with the team and the program.”
Rudich is more than a sack seeking lineman; he’s an excellent student with a passion for engineering. The opportunity to attend U of A’s world class engineering program is a major reason the Texan chose the university.
“I’ve loved just tinkering and building things, and then in high school we have an engineering class and I found that and it kind of all just worked out,” he said.
“I think the things he wanted to see in a program, the academic quality of our school is very high here, being a top five school, one of the top 100 in the world, so those are some things that really brought him here,” Morris said.
Rudich said the adjustment to the Golden Bears, the U of A and Edmonton has been a smooth one so far.
“Everything I’ve seen everyone is top tier up here and it’s awesome to see. It’s a great team to be on.”
Rudich has ambitions of careers in football and engineering, but he is presently focused on his short term goals; primarily, helping the Golden Bears to a Canada West title in his rookie season.