Coach speak: Tucker Israel

Lake Nona High School head coach Anthony Paradiso has called Tucker Israel his starting quarterback for the last three years.

QB Tucker Israel Profile

Since he was a freshman in 2011, Israel has passed for 10,588 yards with 106 touchdowns and 32 interceptions, completing 691-of-1,054 passes. On the ground, Israel has gained 836 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.

"I've had the privilege of coaching Tucker since he was in the eighth grade. He was my ball boy. Kevin Sousa, my other quarterback, is at Wake Forest. [Israel] is probably the most hard-working young man I've ever coached," Paradiso said. "Ever since his eighth grade year when he had a chance to come in and take over as a freshman, he's done nothing but take advantage of all the time."

As a junior, Israel passed for 3,979 yards with 40 touchdowns and rushed 456 yards and eight scores.

"As a player, you're getting a young man who doesn't just run an offense, but controls an offense at the high school level," Paradiso said. "I told every coach that most [quarterbacks] leave high school with a diploma in quarterbacking. He's leaving with a Master's degree, based on what we do and what he's able to do and the pressure we've put him on here, offensively, how complex we are.

"He's a very high IQ quarterback, very smart kid and he's a very athletic kid, too."

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior prospect bench presses 280 pounds, according to Paradiso. His 40-time is in the 4.7 range.

"He's a very strong kid in the weight room. He's the total package. What he lacks in height…he makes up in everything else," Paradiso said.

It was a Monday phone call with Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris that helped seal the deal.

"Coach Morris called me yesterday before Tucker committed and he wanted to know how serious Tucker was," Paradiso said. "I guess they went to a staff meeting with the head coach and the staff and they were re-evaluating all of their quarterbacks and all the quarterbacks they have offered and everything kept coming back to Tucker, what he was doing on film and the type of kid he is.

"He's going to be a mid-year kid. He's got like a 3.7 GPA, so he's going to graduate this December. All the ingredients kept going back to Tucker. [Morris] was like, ‘Coach, this is the guy we want.'"

So Israel committed to Clemson on Monday night, choosing the Tigers over offers from Florida, ECU, UCF, USF, Cincinnati, Indiana, Western Kentucky, South Alabama and Delaware.

"I was able to sit down with Tucker and his family -- I took Tucker up there for the Junior Day this past weekend, me and my son drove him up and he loved it," Paradiso said. "Just hearing that phone call, hearing that phone call from coach Morris, to find out how much they want him, how much he fits what they're trying to do at Clemson, it kind of made Tucker excited.

"He went ahead -- after seeing the place, talking with coach Morris, meeting all the coaches, he just feels comfortable and that's the place he wants to be."

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