Justin Tukes has wanted to be a Knight from the get-go. He expressed his desire to commit to UCF since the first time he visited the school. He's been waiting for the Knights to offer and when the scholarship finally came, he didn't even hesitate to commit.
"It feels great," Tukes told InsideKnights.com. "I'm processing it right now, it doesn't feel real."
Tukes found out last Thursday that his wish to be a Knight was about to be granted.
"It was great timing," said the Worth County H.S. star, "I just got out of practice and when I was leaving Coach Harden (Tukes' head coach) told me that he had received a call. He asked me if I wanted to seal the deal and when I figured out what he meant, I said ‘yes, sir.' That night I talked to my mom, my aunt and my cousins about it and my coach told me it was a smart decision. My family felt pretty good about it too. In the morning I called Coach Collins to let him know I was committed and then I talked to Coach O'Leary. I gave him a hand shake over the phone."
On the weekend prior to his commitment, Tukes had visited UCF during the game against Miami. If he wasn't already in love with the school then that game put the cherry on top.
"It was so much fun and crazy. Fans were everywhere, they had painted faces, painted bodies, they were yelling and cheering out of windows. It was great."
Now that he's committed, Tukes wants to come back to Orlando to look at the campus again from a different perspective, as a UCF Knight.
"I'm not sure when I'm coming back for an official, whenever they want me to."
UAB was the only other FBS school that offered Tukes. When asked why more schools hadn't recruited him, he couldn't come up with a definitive answer.
"I don't know why, I couldn't tell you."
What Tukes is sure of though is that his passion and desire to be a Knight will help out the program.
"It makes a program a whole lot better. It shows the coaches that you're there for the right reasons and that you want to work."
The 6'5", 230 lb. tight end will now concentrate primarily on the rest of his team's season.
"We're 3-5 right now and we need to win our next two games to make the playoffs. So far this season I have 11 catches, 160 receiving yards and I've gotten a nice amount of tackles, a blocked punt, a forced fumble, a fumble return."
With tremendous size, a good attitude and a passion for UCF football, it appears that the Knights might have found a steal to add to their 2010 recruiting class.
Tukes Happy to be a Knight
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