Justin Tucker: Breaking It Down

SAN ANTONIO -- Texas kicker commitment Justin Tucker talks about future teammates Aaron Williams and Dan Buckner, enrolling this month and his progress as a punter during an exclusive interview with Inside Texas from U.S. Army All-American Bowl week.

IT: How do you feel like you're kicking this week?

Justin Tucker: I matched up pretty good. They started me out at defensive tackle going up against that big, old West offensive line. They've been able to shut most of the other guys down, but they haven't found a way to shut down me because I'm pretty wiry.

But in all seriousness, I feel I've been doing pretty well. The other kicker, Justin Sorensen, he's got a big leg. We're just out here having a good time. We've got front-row tickets to watch some of the best football players in the country. We're taking every advantage to meet all these guys and meet some of our future teammates. For me and the other six Texas commitments that are here, we haven't really played with each other. We've met at a bunch of junior days and just little events like the Orange-White game, but we haven't really got to strap on the pads and kind of show each other what we can do and kind of build a little bit more of a brotherhood.

IT: Of the Texas commitments, which player has impressed you the most?

Tucker: I'll just go with the skill players because I'm a former skill player myself. It burns me to say former, but Aaron Williams and Dan Buckner have really been impressive this week.

IT: What do you like about Williams?

Tucker: He's been shutting it down. I was playing scout team with him one day. He's just got killer speed. D.J. Monroe does as well. D.J. is probably the fastest guy here. Aaron's got very good ball skills. He's real quick, got good hips and all that stuff that you want in a cornerback or a defensive back. It's whatever Texas wants him to do.

IT: How has Buckner impressed you?

Tucker: Dan is a very skilled player. He'll go up on that jump ball and he won't let that other guy get it.

IT: You are enrolling this month. Are you anxious to get started?

Tucker: It's just a countdown for me. It's a countdown to the next national title. I've got about two weeks left and I'm spending one of them here. I've got little butterflies in my stomach I guess. It'll be really, really fun to get up there and do spring workouts and summer workouts to build this relationship with all the rest of my future teammates going into the 2008 season.

IT: What are your personal expectations for next season?

Tucker: I'd love to say that I'd start at every position on the field, but there's a lot of competition that'll be going on. Ryan Bailey, Hunter Lawrence and Trevor Gerland are all very skilled. They're very good football players, kickers and punters. It'll be fun. The coaches tell us that every position is open going into spring and summer workouts. I'm going to go up there and kick as well as I can. If I start, that's great. If not, I have a year to learn under some of best kickers and punters in the country.

IT: Are you planning to punt in college?

Tucker: I've been punting. I've been working on that to try and get that up to a collegiate level I guess you could say. I'm definitely more biased towards kicker I guess. I'm more of a lean towards kicker. I've been trying to punt. I've been coming along pretty well. I've been working with my kicking coach Doug Blevins out of Virginia. He showed me a lot and he's helped me out big time. We've been working real hard on getting all that on the same page.

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