A linebacker we're very excited about this year is Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds standout Josh Tatum. The athlete just picked up his third scholarship offer today and it wouldn't surprise us if he hits double digits by the summer.
Tatum, 6-2, 220 pounds first caught our eye two years ago as a sophomore when he had a monster year totaling 135 tackles, 10 sacks, eight forced fumbles and five interceptions. The 'backer then came out to the NorCal Nike Camp last summer and on a rain soaked field, still clocked a 4.66 in the 40, jumped 34 inches in the vertical and did 21 reps on the bench.
As a junior, Tatum only played in two games after tearing his Labrum in week two. He had surgery and is now good to go although he likely won't attend any full contact camps this summer and will likely skip the bench press at the Nike Camp at Stanford in May. The fact that Tatum has three offers and is hearing from schools all over the country despite missing almost his entire junior season is a testament to just what a talented player he is.
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"Cal offered him after his sophomore year," McClymonds head coach Alonzo Carter said. "UCLA just offered him and then Tennessee called and offered him today. I also talked to Miami and USC this week and they're both looking at his film as we speak. Miami is going to come out in the spring and watch him and I know USC is very interested as well.
"Basically, his film is just off the charts good. You can really see Josh flying around and making big plays. He's a huge hitter and very athletic. Everyone who sees his film is going to really be after him."
In addition to the above mentioned schools, Tatum is hearing from Oregon, Boise State, Washington and Boston College.
"USC is my top school right now," Tatum said. "I'm going down there for Junior Day (April 3) and will also camp with them in the summer. I also like Cal, Miami, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon and Arizona State. I grew up following Miami and Cal and I'm going try and camp with both of them as well. I'm also going to UCLA's camp for sure on April 9.
"Right now, I'm looking for a school that is strong academically, has a good football program and a place where I'm comfortable with the people and the environment. Right now, I'm looking to major in either Business or Law."
Academically, Tatum is carrying a 3.1 GPA and will take the SAT later in the year.