Nebraska Showing West Coast LB California Love

When Nebraska picked up Steve Octavien, Dontrell Moore and Phillip Dillard during the last recruiting year, they were looking for some solid defensive leaders who could step in and make a difference. It appears they're going the same route for the 2005-2006 recruiting year as they have identified a prospect from the west coast who easily fits the bill.

Josh Tatum doesn't mess around on or off the field.  If you're looking for a guy that can come in and instantly infuse your team with attitude, he is your man.  Standing 6'2" and weighing in at 225 pounds, Tatum's 4.51 40 yard dash looks even more impressive.  He benches 335 pounds and squats 520 pounds.  He doesn't just excel in the athletic field sporting a 3.67 GPA and a 1350 score on the SAT.  

During his junior campaign at his former school, St. Mary's, he had an injured shoulder and did not play.  As a sophomore, he racked up125 tackles (85 solo), ten sacks, seven forced fumbles, and four interceptions to his credit.  He has transferred to McClymonds High in Oakland for his senior year.  He currently holds offers from Cal, UCLA, Tennessee, Nebraska, Miami, OIe Miss and LSU amongst others.  He is also receiving interest from USC.  He currently claims no favorites.

He plans to attend a camp at Stanford in May, the Scout.com Army All-American Combine on May 14th, California's Full Contact Camp and the USC Rising Senior Camp. He cites his strengths as his aggression and intensity, good knowledge of the game, his sideline to sideline ability and his vocal leadership.

While Joshua's knowledge of the Cornhuskers is somewhat limited, he is very interested in learning more about the program.  ‘I don't know a lot about Nebraska, but I definitely want to take an unofficial visit and possibly an official and get to know about the program.  I know they have a beautiful stadium and the people are very big on the football program," he said.  When Tatum was told about the number of fans who showed up at the spring game, he was surprised.  "That's big," he said.

In looking at a potential college, Tatum has a pretty good idea of what he is looking for.  "I want to be in a great academic setting as far as having my major in business.  (I want to) have a good recruiting process with myself and the coaches.  I want to be able to come down there and see the chemistry in the team.  I'd like to see where the coach's head is.  Being in a winning program and competing for an national championship is a definite factor.  I want to be in a competitive atmosphere," he said.

Nebraska has been sending Joshua mostly handwritten letters and it appears that he's starting to grow accustomed to Offensive Line Coach Dennis Wagner.  "He could see me as an impact player.  He loved the highlight reel; he's very excited to recruit me.  He's coming down for spring ball sometime in May," said Tatum.  Joshua is already starting to work through his list of offers and narrow things down for visits.  "It's still kind of a ways off. I have to narrow this list down, but I'm very appreciative of all the letters and offers. I like all of the schools that's been writing me, but sooner or later I'm going to have to figure out my top five or top ten in the summer, around July," he said.


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