Recruiting: Horns Land Commitment No. 10

Earlier this week, with word that a scholarship offer would soon be in his hands, <B>Bobby Tatum</b> maintained that he didn't intend to make an early commitment. At the time, the Fort Worth Dunbar DB said he really wanted to take his official visits before pledging. That all changed today.

Not only did Mack Brown and Co.'s interest in locking up Tatum increase with the recent scholarship offer, but Tatum's interest in wrapping up the recruiting process early also increased, so much so that he gave a verbal pledge to Texas today.

The Dunbar freak, a sure-fire 4-/5-star prospect when our future prospect ratings are released, is currently the second-best DB in the state and the 11th-ranked player, regardless of position, in ITs initial Texas Top 100.

Tatum officially became UT's 10th commitment and is now a member of the extraordinary recruiting class the Texas coaches are presently building this year. Is there another team that is even remotely close? Umm...No-sir. Not even close, at least so far. In fact, that doesn't even do justice the lead the Horns have over the next-closest team.

But back to Tatum. By far the most impressive athlete playing DB in the state, Tatum turned down offers from Oklahoma, A&M, K-State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Arizona State and Iowa to play for the Burnt Orange.

"I did some soul-searching," the 6-1, 190-pound prep told IT. "After thinking about what it might be like to go ahead and commit to the school that was my favorite and that I grew up loving, I just wanted to go ahead and get it done."

"After I talked to you Tuesday, my dad was telling me to go ahead and commit, but I still wanted to take some trips," Tatum revealed. "(Dunbar head) coach Jones told me to take my trips if that's what I really wanted to do."

"I feel kind of bad because I just talked to Coach Fran today," Tatum explained. "Coach Fran said he read some stuff on the internet saying that I was leaning to the Longhorns, but that I also said I still wanted to make some trips. Well, at the time I still did. So, I told him I did and he said that he would like to get me down to see how they worked their DBs and all."

"After that," Tatum continued, "I then decided to call up my old coach from North Crowley today and he said, 'Bobby, if that's the school you want to go to, and if that's your favorite school, then go ahead and commit...don't waste any time, just do it.' And he said that if I was concerned about making trips and all, I would still be able to go see some Longhorn games anyway."

"So I called my dad back and talked to him and he told me the same thing I told you a couple of days ago," Tatum said. "He was really excited and told me to just go ahead and commit. And I decided that that was what I wanted to do more than anything else. I just got off the phone with Coach Brown and told him I was ready to get this thing done and become a Longhorn. He said he'd be in his office in five minutes and was going to send me a congratulatory letter for becoming a Longhorn."

"Tell all of the Texas fans, Hook'em for me and that I'm going to bring everything I got to Texas. And that I'm coming to Texas to try to help them win a bunch of national championships," a very excited Tatum said.

Don't expect Tatum to waiver either. He plans to graduate this December and enroll at Texas for the '04 spring semester. So, with a head start on his classmates and with two secondary spots opening up after this season with the departure of Nathan Vasher and Dakarai Pearson, expect Tatum to get an early look at playing time.

We'll have more on Tatum in this week's edition of the Inside Scoop!

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