Oakland (Cal.) McClymonds linebacker Joshua Tatum is ready to announce his decision and will do so tonight at 7:30PM EST on ESPNU. The 6-foot-0, 219-pound inside linebacker who is ranked as the No. 3 player in the country at his position will choose between USC and Miami.
"He's ready to announce at 4:30," said McClymonds head coach Alonzo Carter. "Both schools are just about even for Josh so he's had trouble with the decision."
Miami head coach Larry Coker has already made his in-home visit with Tatum along with assistant coach Randy Shannon but both are expected back at McClymonds on Tuesday or Wednesday as well. USC head coach Pete Carroll hopes to do his in-home visit later this week. Will both still make it even after Josh chooses?
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"I think so," Carter said. "For the Miami coaches, even if Josh doesn't choose them, I think they want to still let him know how interested they are. And coach Carroll hasn't done his in-home yet and I suspect he wants to do one regardless."
So where does the coach think his star linebacker will end up?
"He has a unique opportunity here and can't go wrong with either," he said. "But I think he's leaning a bit to USC. But he's kept me a bit at arms length as well so I can't say for sure. We'll find out tonight."
As for Carter's other two Rivals100 studs, both are nearing their decisions as well.
"NaDerris Ward has Georgia and coach Richt coming in this Thursday and coach Miles from LSU is in his house tonight," Carter said of his tight end. "It's down to Georgia, LSU and Tennessee but Georgia has a good lead. We're trying to set something up for the end of this week or for Monday of next week with ESPNU for him to announce.
"As for Derrick Hill, he's down to USC, Cal and Arizona. USC will be in here later in the week and I'm not sure about Cal or Arizona off the top of my head. He'll announce at the U.S. Army All-American Game. Right now I'd say Cal is his favorite."
Coach Carter thinks the attention paid to his players is great motivation for his younger kids.
"They get excited around this time of year because they see how many coaches come through and all," he said. "I tell them that if they keep their grades up that this could be them. None of this happens without being good in school so it allows me to stress academics."