Following his visit to Miami a few weeks ago, Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds linebacker Joshua Tatum said the Canes had made up a ton of ground and were now dead even with his previous leader, the USC Trojans. Tatum took his visit to Los Angeles this past weekend and it looks like the Trojans have regained their spot at the top of his board.
Tatum, 6-1, 220 pounds watched his McClymonds squad win the city title on Friday and then headed out to L.A first thing Saturday morning.
"Man, this trip was just incredible," Tatum said. "It was everything I was expecting and more. I said earlier that the one thing I really didn't get to do before was bond with the players at SC like I did at the other schools and especially at Miami. I was definitely able to do that this week and I feel like that whole football team and coaching staff is all one big family and they really welcomed all of us.
"I flew in on Saturday and then headed over to the hotel where the players are. You hear a lot about how the team prepares for a game but seeing them first hand was incredible. They get so hyped up and crazy. A lot of the players and coaches gave speeches and then everyone started dancing around. Coach Carroll was the first one to start dancing, man it was about the funniest thing I've ever seen.
"Then Ken Norton started talking about how hard they needed to play and what they needed to do to win. I know he played for UCLA but that guy bleeds cardinal and gold now. He was getting everyone so fired up, you knew right there that there were going to come out on top. Later on we headed over to the Coliseum and we all took part in the Trojan Walk where we all walked in to the stadium together with the fans all going crazy around us.
"Once we got out to the field, it was just an electric atmosphere. With 90,000 screaming fans going nuts, it was just awesome. The game itself was never really a contest. I thought it would be closer to be honest but like I said, after watching how SC prepares, I knew they were going to win, I just didn't know they were going to win like that.
"The best part of the trip for me was just hanging out with the players. I didn't really have one host, it was like everyone hung out together. I was with Ryan Powdrell, Thomas Williams, the Ting twins, Josh Pinkard, Rey Maualuga. We all really clicked. I talked to Allen Bradford and Andre Smith a lot too.
"There honestly wasn't a single negative about the visit. I still want to take a little time before making my decision, just to be sure of everything. I don't have a set date right now of when I'm going to commit but it will probably be pretty soon, maybe in the next week or so."
Editors Note- Since this story was published, we got a call back from Tatum saying he has set his announcement date for December 14 and it will be shown on ESPNU.