Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton offensive lineman Casey Tucker committed to USC well before he started his junior season. He took an unofficial visit to Los Angeles in early July, liked what he saw, pulled the trigger and that was that.
More than three months later, the 2014 tackle is in semi-frequent contact with other coaching staffs, namely the ones at Arizona State and Notre Dame. Assuming Tucker's recruitment is open any way, however, is a misstep. Instead, this is a case of a young player attempting to form a backup plan.
You know, just in case.
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"I like the other schools talking to me because if something awful were to happen to USC, I'd have options," Tucker said. "I just keep them updated. If anything bad were to happen at USC, I'd definitely open back up. That doesn't seem like it's going to happen, though. That's why I committed so early."
If Tucker is actually looking for other options, he's good at selling the contrary. Ask him what's new in his recruitment and his answer is choppy. He uses shoulder shrugs and grins to convey the details of what he feels is a confusing situation.
New offers? If they've arrived, Tucker doesn't seem to care much. He's not at all concerned with examining them. So go the perks of committing early. There's no stress to be found here.
"I think I've gotten a lot of new offers, but I can't remember," Tucker said. "They don't, like, tell you. It's really confusing. Who's offered and who hasn't … it all just kind of runs together."
So other schools will take their best shots. At this point, they mostly come in the form of Facebook messages. So what's the pitch? What's the draw? It's something else Tucker has trouble pinpointing. The process is urgency-free, and he's enjoying every bit of it.
"They just ask me how firm I am to USC and talk to me about non-football things," Tucker said. "It's just relationship building."