James Paulk Commits to Washington

James Paulk is a 6-5, 305-pound offensive tackle prospect from Baxley, Georgia, by way of College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. Paulk has made a verbal commitment to play football for the University of Washington starting in 2005, according to COC Offensive Line Coach Garrett Tujague (pronounced TU-jay).

"He's told me flat-out that he's committed to U-Dub (Washington)," Tujague told Dawgman.com. "He made that decision in June."

The sunny confines of California are a long ways off from Georgia. How did Paulk find his way out west? "He had a coach friend of his that knew about College of the Canyons and also how important it was for James to get out of the state of Georgia," Tujague said. "Not that he had ever been in trouble, but if he had stayed at home he could have easily been led down that path. His coach contacted us and we got him out here and he's loved it.

"He had never watched television until he got here, ever played a video-game system. Television was a whole new thing to him. A lot of the lessons he learned...he learned how swim when his grandfather would tie a rope around him and throw him in a pond or a lake full of alligators. Neither of his parents can help him out financially, so he's working at McDonald's right now, trying to pay his rent. It's quite a success story if he ends up making it."

James did not qualify out of high school, but Tujauge also keeps track of his players' grades and said that Paulk is well on his way to achieving his Associate of Arts degree. "If he continues to do what he's supposed to do this summer, next fall and next spring, he'll have his AA by next May," said coach. Paulk will have three years to play two starting next fall and will sign a letter of intent in February of 2005.

With both UW tackles graduating after 2004, there is an immediate need for an impact tackle. Paulk looks to be a guy that can fill the bill. "Probably one of his biggest strengths is his speed and quickness and his overall strength," Tujague said. "We are the only school in the United States at the junior college level that has a full-time strength coach (Robert Dos Remedios). He's phenomenal. He's the biggest thing to happen to us as far as our program is concerned. But James has always been naturally strong. He earned money to get out here by farming, for instance. His strength and his speed and how quickly he gets on people when he pulls to block linebackers or to just get to the corner on a run, he's got such long arms and quick feet that he just manhandles people.

"Last year he played right tackle for me and this year he's going to play left tackle. The guy can be a brute, physical guy but he's so fast that we can run option away from him and he can crack the safety clear on the far side of the field to spring the running back. It's unbelievable."

Tujague claims a 4.9 to 5.0 legitimate 40 on field turf for Paulk. And scholarship offers? "Everybody in the country - SC, everybody in the Pac-10," said coach. "Oregon and Oregon State are still recruiting him, even though he tells everybody he's going to Washington. Everybody in the SEC is all over him - everybody that comes in to watch tape, their mouths drop."

So with all the love coming from both coasts and everywhere in-between, what was it about the purple and gold sales pitch that sold Paulk? "He's all about keeping it real," said Tujague. "He doesn't like to be bs'ed or showboated. He just wants the truth. The Washington coaches didn't puff it up, they didn't big-time it. They just told him how it was, what it was going to be like, and wanted to know if he was interested. James really liked that."

Tujague does not expect James to take any other visits. "James is kind of old-school," he said. "You are only as good as your word. The way I know him and the way we communicate, that's how I understand it."

James Paulk Scout Profile

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