Josh Tatum is from a small town in Alabama, but no one would likely have guessed that Saturday night.
The 6-6, 315-pound offensive lineman from Marbury High was decked out in a Razorback hat and a University of Arkansas shirt – both things he has picked up since committing to the program back in early August.
"I am all Razorback," Tatum said while on hand to watch Arkansas play Troy. "I have never thought twice about it since I committed and know this is where I am meant to be."
Alabama did not offer until he committed to Arkansas, but that hasn't kept the Crimson Tide staff from trying to change his mind lately.
"They've called me, talked to my coach and sent me an e-mail the other day wanting me to come to a couple of games and wondering if I might change my mind," Tatum said. "But I have told them I am firm with Arkansas and it is where my heart is."
Tatum had a chance to meet up with fellow UA offensive line commits Matt Hall (6-10, 320) of Russellville and Austin Eoff (6-5, 305) of Fort Smith Northside on Saturday and watch the Razorbacks down Troy 46-26.
Tatum got his offer after coming to the Houston Nutt Football Camp in early June that was also attended by Hall and Eoff.
"I feel good about it," Tatum said. "I happy to have two guys like that to be coming in with me. I've never seen an offensive lineman that tall. I think they are a couple of guys and we will all come in and work hard to help out when it is our turn."
Tatum said getting his college decision out of the way has been very beneficial to him.
"You are able to relax and just play football again," Tatum said. "Being in a small town atmosphere is great because everybody knows you and respects where you are going. You are able to just have fun with your teammates again."
Marbury opened its season with a 33-14 win over Holtville on Thursday night. It was a game that got a little chippy in the second half.
"In the first half I was able to come off the ball and blow people up,' Tatum said. "The second half, man, they were trying to cut you and taking cheap shots so I had to be careful. I think I had a real good game."
Tatum feels like Marbury – who was 3-7 in 2006 - has a chance to have a great season with him and his fellow O-line opening holes for star running backs Chris Ingram and Ronnie Johnson.
"We have the team that if we work hard enough, we can go to the state," Tatum said. "We are working on it. We have two all-state running backs in Class 4A, one of the best offensive lines you could ask for. We are going to be good."
"I am still trying to improve my speed and my footwork," Tatum said. "I have run a 5.02 on my 40, but I would like to get it a little lower. I am going to keep working on both my strengths and my weaknesses."
UA offensive line commits Josh Tatum, Matt Hall and Austin Eoff took in Saturday night's win over Troy.
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