USC lands talented Serra linebacker

When Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker Olajuwon Tucker landed a scholarship offer from USC just a week ago, he said he would be thinking very hard about jumping on the offer. Tucker didn't have to think too long as the talented athlete announced for the Trojans Friday night.

No player has does more to raise their stock this season than Olajuwon Tucker. At 6-3, 215 pounds, Tucker has always looked the part and he has taken his game to a completely different level this season.

He has combined with junior five-star prospect John Houston to form arguably the state's best linebacker duo. Tucker does everything well for the Cavs and is not just the teams best pass rusher, he can drop back in to coverage, play in space and is very physical.

"He has probably been our best defensive player," Cavalier coach Scott Altenberg said. "He has that great frame, is very athletic and he just makes plays. Some guys peak early, he's a kid who peaked late and he's just getting started. His best days are ahead of him and he's going to be a great player down the road."

Serra played league rival West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Friday night and blew out the Eagles 36-0. Following the game, Tucker decided to make it official and announced for USC.

"I've always wanted to play for USC," Tucker said following the game. "When they offered me, I was pretty overwhelmed. I thought about it all week and I really couldn't think of any reason to hold off making a decision. I know they don't have a head coach in place but I trust Coach (Ed) Orgeron, that's my guy and I know he's going to take care of me.

"I'm very confident Coach O will be around when the they name a new head coach and that's enough for me. I'm not committing to a head coach, I'm committing to a school. USC has a great football program and an incredible tradition and I'm just really excited to be a Trojan right now."

Tucker said the depth chart was another factor in his decision.

"They graduate four linebackers this year so that definitely played a part for me," Tucker said. "Coach O told me as long as I keep working hard like I've been doing, there's a strong chance for me to get some early playing time next year. They didn't make any promises but I just want an opportunity and I know I'll get one."

Prior to his commitment, Tucker said he and fellow teammate Glen Ihenacho set up visits with Arizona State and Washington State and he still plans to take those trips.

"Yeh, I'm still going to do the visits, the coaches are fine with that," Tucker said. "They were already set up and I still want to experience seeing some new places. My commitment is pretty solid though, like I said, USC is where I've always wanted to go. This is big for me and my family and I'm just really excited to have this opportunity to be a Trojan."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 16 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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