With a few simple words, Marbury (Ala.) High prep offensive lineman Josh Tatum (6-6, 315, 5.02) made his intentions clear to University of Arkansas assistant Mike Markuson.
"I am going to be a Razorback, baby!" Tatum recalled from the conversation he had with the UA offfensive line coach on Friday afternoon.
Tatum became Arkansas' 20 commitment of the 2008 class just 30 minutes or so after Markuson called Marbury head coach Kyle Glover to let him know that the Razorbacks had decided to extend an offer to the young man.
"Coach Glover called me and said 'what are you doing Tatum?' I told him that I was just pulling into my driveway and he told me "go in the house, sit down and call me back.' When I did he told that I had got what I had been wanting and that was an offer from Arkansas.
"So I called Coach Markuson right away to let him know that I was ready and had no reason to wait," Tatum said.
Tatum impressed the Razorback coaches during his performance at the UA Senior Camp on July 21.
"As my coach and I were driving away, we talked about how I had done and we both that I had really brought it that day," Tatum said. "That's pretty much when I decided that if they offered it was where I wanted to go.
"I must tell you it was 10 times better than I ever could have imagined," Tatum added. "They have great coaches, great facilities and I believe that Coach Markuson is the best coach I have ever been around. I think he is going to get the best out of me."
Tatum, who has played guard the past two seasons and is moving to tackle this season, said he has become a much better player over the course of the last year.
"Now one of my strongest points is my work ethic and that's not something I could have said in junior high," Tatum said. "And my attitude wasn't the best.
"But with help from my coaches and my teammates, that light bulb finally came on and I became a guy that just couldn't work enough," Tatum said, "I have to think my coaches and my teammates for pushing me."
Tatum benches over 400 pounds and has squatted 650.
Arkansas was Tatum's first offer, but he believes that both Alabama, Ole Miss and Louisville were on the verge of doing so as well.
That led to the inevitable question on what he would do if the homestate Crimson Tide did come in with an offer now.
"I am taking this commitment very seriously," Tatum said. "The way I was raised is to be a man of your word. If you make a commitment, your word is golden and that's what is going to happen with me. I am not going to diss on Alabama because they have helped me a lot at camps. But like I said, I am a Razorback and that's set in stone."
Tatum's All In
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