Thirty-one of 32 NFL teams were represented at Holuba Hall, armed with cell phones, stop-watches and clipboards.

They were there to get answers to some of the questions surrounding Penn State’s draft prospects. Could Christian Hackenberg look more polished than he did at the combine? Was Carl Nassib’s single-season sack record a product of Penn State’s talented defensive line or was he an NFL-ready edge-rusher?

And what about Jordan Lucas? After all, nobody had seen the Penn State defensive back on the field since the first week of November. The guy who missed the final three games, the Senior Bowl and the combine certainly had plenty riding on his pro day. The margin for error with a late-round prospect like Lucas was small to begin with.

It didn’t matter to scouts that he couldn’t run for nearly four weeks after he began training in Dallas. They weren’t going to mark Lucas’ 40-yard-dash times with an asterisk because he spent January rehabbing. He wasn’t going to get a free pass just because he once started 27 straight games at Penn State. They wanted to see that he was healthy and physically prepared to be an NFL defensive back.

All eyes were on Lucas. He was ready for them.

“It wasn’t a lot of pressure in my mind. I wasn’t trying to think of it like that,” Lucas said. “It was just something I’d been training for for over two months now. It was time to go out there and do it.”

‘It just came out’

Lucas’ loyalty to Penn State was never in question.

When Bill O’Brien took over in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Lucas flipped his commitment from Temple to Penn State and became the first recruit to give the program his pledge.

When the NCAA brought the hammer down on the football team five months later with vacated wins, fines, a four-year postseason ban and a scholarship reduction, Lucas kept his commitment.

When O’Brien left for the NFL two years later, Lucas stayed in State College.

When Adrian Amos graduated and the Lions coaching staff asked Lucas, a two-year starter, to switch back to safety for his senior year, he obliged.

Lucas, one of Penn State’s captains in 2015, was willing to do anything for the program that gave him a shot. That included playing special teams.

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With his senior season winding down, Lucas was doing just that in the second quarter at Northwestern. He lined up for a run-of-the-mill point-after attempt after the Wildcats scored the first touchdown of the game. Rushing off the left edge, Lucas tried to extend his right arm to get a piece of Jack Mitchell’s kick.

Nobody touched Lucas. Still, he found himself dealing with an all-too-familiar pain.

It was his shoulder.

“It just came out,” Lucas said. “It came out out of nowhere.”

Dislocating his shoulder was nothing new. In fact, it happened to Lucas earlier in the season and it sidelined him for the San Diego State game, which ended his streak of 40 straight games played.

But this time was different. Nobody hit Lucas. His shoulder popped out too easily. After he got an MRI the following day, it was official — his Penn State career was over.

“I was sad,” said Lucas, who finished his career with 180 tackles and 25 pass breakups. “I really wanted to continue playing but I knew that I had a future to worry about. It was in my best interest to get the surgery right away so that I could be able to perform for the combine, and for the pro day.”

Unfortunately for Lucas, he couldn’t compete at the combine after his shoulder surgery. But not all was lost.

We Meet Again

Lucas’ loyalty kept him at Penn State. It also kept him on the radar of the coach who recruited him to come to State College.

After O’Brien took the job with the Houston Texans in 2014, he maintained contact with Lucas. When they got to reunite in Indianapolis, it was like old times.

“Their interview was a little different than anybody else’s because they know me. They know my family, they know my background, they know everything about me,” Lucas said. “They know what type of football player I am. They know what I can do and they know what type of guy I would be to the organization.

“That would just be cool because those are the coaches that gave me my shot in college football and I’m so grateful for that.”

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But Lucas maintained that he wouldn’t mind the opportunity to play for anybody that gave him a chance. It remains to be seen where and what that opportunity will be.

Many pre-draft publications listed Lucas as a strong safety, which was where he played his senior season. But cornerback was where Lucas established himself as a starter. At 6-0, 201 pounds, the former All-B1G honorable mention selection proved that he can play both positions at a high level.

That’s why every team Lucas met with so far asked him what position he wants to play in the NFL.

“My answer is corner every time,” he said. “I’ll play whatever you want me to play but I feel like corner fits me the best. I feel like that’s my natural position.”

Why? Lucas enjoys the one-on-one matchups as much as anything. Well, besides making a big hit, of course.

Sounds an awful lot like a safety, right?

“Hey,” Lucas said. “I just love to hit.”

Lasting Impression

March 17 was the day Lucas spent four months rehabbing and training for. Before he began his first public workout in since his shoulder surgery, he was understandably anxious.

But if there were any jitters, Lucas didn’t show them.

He started his day out with a 38-inch vertical jump, which would’ve placed him seventh among defensive backs at the combine.

A 10 foot, 10 inch broad jump was the same that consensus first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves recorded in Indianapolis.

Perhaps most importantly, Lucas delivered in the 40. His 4.45-second time would’ve put him in the top 10 among defensive backs at the combine.

It was the kind of day Lucas knew he needed to have.

“I think I answered a lot of questions that scouts have about me,” he said. “After (Penn State’s pro day), I think a lot of teams like me at corner now.”

The Bills, Patriots, Lions, Giants, Colts, Seahawks and Raiders all met with Lucas after his day was finished. They could still have questions about his surgically repaired shoulder. Even though he ran, jumped and participated in the agility drills, Lucas chose not to bench press and potentially overexert his shoulder.

Physically and mentally, he feels like he’s ready to compete at the highest level. His ability to play corner, nickel or safety, he feels, will make him a valuable asset on an NFL roster. He understands that opportunity might not become official until the third day of the draft or during the undrafted free-agent signing frenzy.

The goal is still the same.

“I just want to fulfill my potential and not let potential just be a thing,” Lucas said. “I want to be everything I’m destined to be.”