Linebacker Tatum is in High Demand

The Ducks sought out linebackers from the junior college ranks in the 2005 recruiting class and landed letters of intent from the likes of Jason Turner, Chris Mulvanny and Blair Phillips. Oregon also signed Tucker Callahan from Fairhope (Ala.) and the Ducks are going to seek out potential linebackers in the 2006 class. One player that has jumped out is Joshua Tatum, 6-2, 220, 4.5, from McClymonds High School in Oakland.

Tatum has big-time written all over him. Although he was out last season as a junior at St Mary's High School he did have an impressive sophomore year. He recorded 125 tackles (85 solo), 10 sacks, seven forced fumbles and had four interceptions. That was enough for him to be named first team all-league and defensive MVP. He is transferring to McClymonds High School for his senior year.

Academics are not a problem for Tatum. He carries a 3.6 GPA and scored 1350 on his SAT

Offers are coming in from everywhere for Tatum including from California, LSU, Miami, Mississippi, Nebraska, USC and Oregon. Cal will be tough to beat for this standout as some former Oregon coaches are in contact with Tatum.

"Cal was the first school to offer me and it's my hometown school," Tatum told Allen Wallace of Super Prep. "I talk with coaches (Jeff) Tedford, (Bob) Gregory (defensive coord), (Justin) Wilcox (linebackers) and (Ron) Gould (running backs) on a regular basis, and everybody there is real genuine."

Spring drills did not entirely answer questions regarding the depth at the linebacker position for the 2005 season, but certainly there was more than enough horse power for the Ducks to have a successful campaign next year. However with three of the four linebackers coming from the junior college ranks in 2005, 2006 is a year that the Ducks need to bring in more quality help. Tatum is an obvious candidate to fill the bill.

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