Then, after spending his first few years at Berkeley (Calif.) St. Mary's, Tatum decided to leave after his injury-plagued junior year and transfer to McClymonds.
"I love it. It's a small school, and we are a big family here. (California signee) Kyle Reed is one of my best friends and being here at school with him and a lot of these other guys is great. I can't wait to get back on the field," said Tatum.
But college coaches have still located him. Even with missing much of his junior year, it hasn't stopped the recruiting attention for Tatum.
Tatum said the Bruin staff has offered him and he took an unofficial visit to last weekend. He said: "It is a great campus and a great school. I got a chance to meet with Coach (Karl) Dorrell and he told me that I have a scholarship there waiting for me. I'm starting to like UCLA a lot right now. They are just outside my top schools. I got to meet some players too and really liked the guys on the team."
UCLA tight end coach Jon Embree, whose recruiting region is Northern California, is recruiting Tatum.
Though he wouldn't name a clear leader from his top seven, Tatum did say that Cal is looking good. "They are the home school and I love the coaches there and the campus is so close to home. I'm very comfortable there and close with the staff," he said.
Before the shoulder injury shelved Tatum for much of his junior year, during his sophomore year at St. Mary's he had 135 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 5 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles.
And Tatum is dying to get back in a game. "I want to get back out and play. It was tough sitting out last year. I wanted to play so bad. Now I have a fresh start at McClymonds. I can't wait to play (Los Angeles) Dorsey this year. That's going to be a game!"
Tatum said he will not make any college decision till the early part of 2006. He said, "I am taking all of my trips. I'm not making an early decision."
Tatum has a 3.6 GPA and took the SAT in March.