Gerard Martinez |

Alijah Vera-Tucker approaching a top 10

Alijah Vera Tucker will trim his list of favorites schools to 10, but USC is already lobbying for an official visit next fall.

Oakland (Calif.) four-star offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker did not work out at the Opening Regional in Richmond (Calif.), but he did get noticed. 

Holding a handful of scholarship offers from schools like USC, Nebraska, Oregon, Michigan, UCLA and Washington, Vera-Tucker is one of the West Coast’s most sought after offensive tackles. 

“It’s been real crazy with schools coming out to see me,” said Vera-Tucker. “Coaches come by like everyday, but me and my family are enjoying the process. 

“Washington, USC, Cal, LSU, Arizona State, Colorado… a bunch of schools have been by, but it’s still fun. They text all the time now, which isn’t really all that different than them hitting you up on DM (direct message). I’m still having fun, but I can’t wait to make my decision.”

Vera-Tucker isn’t planning on making that decision any time soon. His current plans are to take all five of his official visits and commit close-to or on signing day. 

Between now and then, unofficial visits and official visits will be in order. Vera-Tucker already unofficially visited USC for spring football in March. 

“Coach (Neil) Callaway came up to my school the other week,” said Vera-Tucker. “I’ve been building a great relationship with him through texts and Twitter. I’m always on the phone with him. 

“He called me after his visit to the school and we talked about me making another trip to USC. We talked about me maybe coming down this summer, so the relationship process with Coach Neil Calloway has been going great. 

“I saw him coaching at practice and he’s a real intense coach. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him and Coach (Clay) Helton.”

At 6-foot-4, 280-pounds, Vera-Tucker has tremendous athletic ability, which also makes him very versatile. USC is recruiting Vera-Tucker as a left tackle, which some would question based on his height. 

However, the Trojans recruitment of a similar sized offensive tackle in sophomore Chuma Edoga dispels that notion with a apt comparison. 

“They want me at left tackle, but said I could play guard too,” said Vera-Tucker. “I see some comparisons with me an Chuma. We both have quick feet and get up field fast, which is why we both can play tackle.”

Outside of football, Vera-Tucker’s interest in USC revolves around academics. 

“The degree is a big deal,” said Vera-Tucker. “The academics support at USC is really good too. That’s something I’ve looked into. 

“The coaches are USC are really nice. Their very competitive and the practices are that way. Everything is fast and up-tempo. When I go up to a school I want to be with a team that wants to play for a national championship every single practice — every single day.”

Vera-Tucker will begin to narrow down his list of choices to a top 10 this summer. From that group official visit dates will be set. 

“USC is in the top 10 for sure,” said Vera-Tucker. Top Stories