While he is still unsure as to where he is going to go, one thing is for sure after speaking with Tatum on numerous occasions – he's going to take his visits and make sure he's positive before making any decision – and for ‘Canes fans, UM ranks right at the top of his list and a visit here he will surely take.
Since the last time I spoke with Tatum when he was still recovering from a shoulder injury that kept him out his entire junior season, yet he is still ranked as the fifth best linebacker in the country because of his stellar sophomore year where he posted 135 tackles, 10 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 5 interceptions as a sophomore, he has hit a few camps and combines and is ready to mow his opponents down as he prepares for what promises to be a spectacular senior year.
With that said, check out what Tatum had to say in our most recent interview.
CanesTime: What are your thoughts on the upcoming season?
Joshua Tatum: We are the only school that has 3 pre-season All-Americans. We have a great team coming back with a lot of seniors. We are all experienced high school veterans. I expect us to be a nationally ranked team.
We are looking to win the Silver Bowl that is the Oakland Athletic League Championship and looking to end our high school careers with the best possible outcome.
We are stacked all across the board, from running back to defensive line to linebacker. It's going to be a great season at McClymonds.
CanesTime: How long have you been playing football?
JT: I've been playing football since I was 10 years old. I played for the Berkeley Cougars.
CanesTime: What other sports do you play outside of football?
JT: I run track. I used to play basketball, but I hung up the sneakers. Football is my first love, but during the off-season I run track to prepare me for football.
CanesTime: How are you academically?
JT: My GPA is a 3.67 as of right now with 2.84 core. I scored a 1350 on the new SAT. That's the equivalent of a 950 on the old SAT.
CanesTime: What makes you different than the rest of your position out there?
JT: I have a passion for the game. Never take downs off. I lead by example. Just like my favorite linebacker Ray Lewis. I am constantly talking and executing my drops with perfection. When I got you, there is no way I am going to let you go. I take time in developing my craft. I am looking to having a great season, injury free season and make less mistakes. I watch a lot of film and am constantly preparing.
I run a 4.5 in the 40. We have a small scat back running back that can really fly and I prepare everyday for opponents chasing him down. It's hard work. It's preparing me for what I am going to see this year. I am 6'1 ½, 223 pounds. At the camps I've already been to, coaches said I had the best speed and footwork as far as getting to the ball. I don't like to be blocked and I won't be blocked.
CanesTime: Who are you current college favorites?
JT: In no particular order, USC, Cal, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan, Ole Miss
CanesTime: Who leads and why?
JT: I do not have a leader right now. Everything is neutral right now. Pretty soon I'll be narrowing my list to a sufficient top 4-5 in August. I am definitely be at my top 5 by the time the season starts. June is the quiet period giving me a lot of time to think about colleges and things.
CanesTime: How many written scholarship offers do you have?
JT: I have 24 written scholarship offers from all over the Pac 10 except Stanford. Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami. The list is just real long.
CanesTime: What are your thoughts about Miami?
JT: Miami has one of the best traditions at linebacker in the country. Ray Lewis, Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma, DJ Williams. All of them are players I have tried to model my game after. Being speedy backers. UM puts a great percentage of putting players in the NFL and that's definitely somewhere I'd like to be in 4-5 years. They have great coaches in Miami. Not a lot of Miami guys that go to the pros sit the bench. They're immediate starters and very well prepared. The preparation is bar none.
CanesTime: What are your thoughts about a loaded depth chart at your position? Will that play a major factor in where you decide to go?
JT: The depth chart won't be a big factor because I'll have to compete anywhere I decide to go. I am happy to compete cause usually I come out on top. I don't settle for second best. Whatever school I go to I am going to try to get up the depth chart real fast.
I have a question that I always ask the schools that are recruiting me. Keep it real with me. Don't BS me. And for the most part they tell me straight up. I don't care if I have to red shirt a year. If that's the plan, tell me. I am going to compete.
CanesTime: What are you summer camp plans?
JT: I already attend the Cal's Full Contact Camp. On June 27-28 I will be at USC's Rising Senior Camp. I am training with my team also. We've got a little boot camp that my coach puts together where we go to a residential area for a week and have our double days, but other than that nothing else planned.
Josh Tatum Q&A
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