Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds linebacker Joshua Tatum still has seven or eight schools on his list right now but three are at the top of his board and he has also set his first official visit.
Tatum, 6-1, 220 pounds is one of the nation's top linebackers and has his choice of just about any school in the county. The athlete just set his first visit today and said he has a good idea of where his other four visits will be as well.
"I'm going to Miami (Dec. 9)," Tatum said. "My coach (Alonzo Carter) just set that one up. The way it works at McClymonds is we tell him what schools we like and then he'll go ahead and set the visit dates, it works better that way. I'm also close to setting a visit to USC and coach Carter is trying to finalize that one.
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"USC said they like to trip in their in-state guys in January but I want to have all my visits done in December so I can decide by January. Coach Carter worries that if we take our visits in January, by the time we make our decision, one of the schools we visited in December might be out of scholarships."
Something tells us that no matter the school, if Tatum wanted to commit, his school of choice would find a ride for him. The 'backer is a tremendous talent with size, strength, speed and hitting ability. He loves the weight room, has a great work ethic and never takes a down off.
"I'm also going to visit Tennessee for sure and then Oklahoma and Michigan will likely be my last two," Tatum said. "I love Cal a lot too but they're close enough where I can just take an unofficial visit there. My top three schools are USC, Miami and Cal. I just had dinner last night with a lot of the Cal players and I'm really close to them already because Robert Jordan (WR) is my cousin. It was me, Robert, Marshawn Lynch, Desean Jackson and a few others.
"We all talked a lot about the recruiting process, especially me and Desean since he just went through it and we have a lot of the same schools on our list. The main things I'm looking at right now are the style of play of the teams, the general feel I get from the school and the players when I'm there on my visit and depth chart will factor in a little bit too but not much. I want to play but I'm not afraid of competition and wherever I go, there is going to be great players there so that's not really a factor. I just bought that college package and I'm going to be watching these teams play a lot this year to get a feel for how I would fit in there."
In addition to the six schools Tatum named, he said Oregon and Mississippi are also in the mix and have not been eliminated. As for next season, Tatum said he can't wait for one game on his schedule.
"I can't wait to play Dorsey and Stafon Johnson next year," Tatum added. "I think it's like in week four or something. I can tell a rivalry is already building there. I watched the tape of the game last year and watched how Stafon played. Then I saw him at USC's camp and even though we weren't playing in pads, the first time we went up against each other, I just grabbed him and threw him down hard to the ground. I was putting him on his back all day and we were talking a lot of trash and it wasn't in fun either, we were serious.
"Even our coaches who were there were talking trash to each other, it was getting pretty heated. Then when we played Trojan ball at the end of the camp, they put us on the same team and we were throwing touchdowns to each other and everything changed. We became instant friends, it was pretty cool. He's a good guy but I still can't wait to play them next season, once the game starts, all that friendship is going to be out the window."