The News-Sentinel sports staff will feature a different verbally committed player for the four NCAA Division I football programs (Ball State, Indiana Notre Dame and Purdue) in Indiana leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 5.
Here is today's Ball State featured commit:
Hometown: Bloomfield (MI) Brother Rice High School
Weight: 160 pounds
Commitment date: Dec. 21, 2013
Other scholarship offers: None from the FBS level. Valparaiso, Findlay, and Butler were among the smaller programs recruiting him.
Ranking: Rated a two-star recruit by Scout.com and 247 Sports. Scout.com has him rated as the 211th wide receiver nationally, while 247Sports has him as the 304th best pass catcher.
Ball State depth chart at position: Redshirt freshman Aaron Hepp backed up the graduated Jamill Smith at the slot position. Other returning receivers include junior Jordan Williams, fifth-year senior Shane Belle, senior Chris Shillings, redshirt sophomore Efe Scott-Emuakpor, and junior KeVonn Mabon.
Scouting report: Ball State fans can compare Lacanaria to Cardinal senior running back Jahwan Edwards. No, the two players are as different as humans can be, but both excelled on state title winning teams, yet few believed in them. Lacanaria is the most productive wide receiver in the history of Brother Rice football, which is arguably the most successful program ever in the state of Michigan (it's won three consecutive state championships and 10 under coach Al Fracassa). He caught 65 balls for 1,111 yards and eight scores this past season, and holds eight Brother Rice records and five for the state of Michigan. If he were four inches taller, you'd be reading about how he decided between Big 10 programs. He has great pass-catching skills, speed and especially thrives after the catch. His coach (the legendary Fracassa) has coached at the school for 45 years, has produced over 300 collegiate players and has compared Lacanaria to NFL All-Pro Wes Welker. Ball State became Lacanaria's only FBS offer on Dec. 19 and he committed to the Cardinals two days later. The Cardinal coaches watched him compete in a camp on campus last July, saw him play in August against nationally-renowned St. Ignatius of Cleveland and he torched the national power for 10 receptions and 157 yards. Pete Lembo will either be viewed as a genius or a dummy after this scholarship offer, but Lacanaria's history exhibits that Cardinal fans will love this kid because Lembo is no dummy.