Tucker breaks USC pledge, looks around

Casey Tucker's de-commitment from USC was kept about as quiet as a ticker tape parade.
Word of the Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton tackle's split with the Trojans leaked out over the weekend, but Tucker didn't address the news until Wednesday evening. When Tucker finally did speak on the issue, his words were what you'd imagine. In 2013, De-commitment talking points are well rehearsed.
"It went smoothly," Tucker said by phone on Wednesday. "I just told them I'm opening things up. I'm still considering them, of course. I just wanted to take this decision a little more seriously and make sure I get it right."
Tucker broke the news to USC head coach Lane Kiffin and assistant Tommie Robinson. The way Tucker tells it, the conversation went smoothly. The Trojan coaches understood his decision to take a step back and accepted the move. But while the four-star prospect will still heavily consider returning to the USC fold, other schools are already in play.
Most notable of the group? Arizona State, the hometown school to which his close friend Christian Westerman, a one-time Auburn Tiger, recently transferred.
"Arizona State is definitely up there," Tucker said. "Christian is a cool guy. I know [other players] there, too. I've been over there a few times. I can visit there easier. I don't have to fly a plane or anything. It's a great place for me to visit.
"I don't know if they are the top school, but they're up there. I'm pretty open. I've enjoyed my time there a lot, so …"
According to Tucker, other schools of interest are Texas A&M, UCLA, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and LSU. He says the process never slowed, even when he was solid in his pledge to the Trojans.
According to him, Texas A&M, Arizona State and UCLA and Georgia have not waivered in his recruitment at any time and those relationships mean something at this juncture. He points out that he has "40 or 50" Facebook messages to which he still needs to reply.
The next visit on the docket will be to none of the aforementioned schools, though. Instead, he'll head back to California.
"I'm going to Stanford in May," Tucker said. "Right as soon as summer break starts, I'm going to be headed over there to check out the campus and stuff. I want to just kind of see what it's like over there."
From here, things will move slowly. Tucker says it wouldn't be wise to expect a hast second commitment. That lesson has already been learned. The second round of his recruitment will move at a more relaxed pace and include plenty of extended exploration.
"I thought I would just get it over with and get the process out of the way because it gets kind of busy, but that didn't really happen,' Tucker said. "I didn't get left alone at all. So now I am just going to take my time and make sure I'm really happy with my decision."
The 280-pound Tucker holds 14 scholarship offers and is likely to see that list grow now that he is back on the board.