Cards land talented JUCO defensive lineman

Steve Kragthorpe said one of his program's primary goals this recruiting season was to find some immediate help on the defensive line. Sunday, the Cardinals landed a big defensive line commitment who was the defensive MVP of last week's Mississippi junior college Bowl game.

Malcolm Tatum, a 6-4, 265-pound defensive end from Gulf Coast (MS) C.C., made an official visit to Louisville and gave the Cardinals a verbal commitment before heading back home.

So what stood about Louisville to Tatum?

"Everything," he told "I liked how they talked about education first. If football doesn't work out I've got to have an education. I plan to major in engineering. Any school I would have went to I could have played right away but Louisville really interested me."

"The visit was great," Tatum said. "I got to go to the basketball game and the atmosphere was great there. I met a couple players. Mozell Axson was my host. I met a couple players that night when we went out. I felt like I fit in well with those guys."

Tatum spent considerable time during his visit meeting and talking with Louisville defensive line coach Ken Delgado. The Cardinals are hoping Tatum can come in right away and compete for a starting job at defensive end.

"He's a good guy and he's like family to me," Tatum said. "He treated me right when I was there. I got to talk to him a lot during my visit."

Tatum said he made about 30 tackles and 9.5 sacks as a sophomore. Tatum, who was named the defensive MVP in Gulf Coast's (10-2) 41-7 Mississippi bowl win over third-ranked Georgia Military, earned second team MACJC South honors as a sophomore and is rated a two-star prospect by

"He's a great kid and an outstanding player," Gulf Coast coach Steve Campbell said. "He has a very strong pass rush and is very strong against the run. He's got a lot of tools. He's got a very good motor and plays extremely hard. He's the type of kid that can help take your program to the next level. He was a great player for us the last two seasons."

Tatus said he had offers from Louisiana-Monroe and Tulsa. "Those were the only two college that offered me," said Tatum.

"He was voted team captain and he has a terrific work ethic," Campbell said. "He's an impact type of player."

Tatum said he plans to sign with Louisville on Wednesday, Dec. 17 and anticipates enrolling at UofL in January.

"That's the plan right now and hopefully everything works out in that regard," Campbell said. "I see no reason for him not to be ready to roll in January. Finals start on Monday and we'll finish up on Wednesday."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories