Commitment Impact: Caleb Tucker

Commitment Impact: Caleb Tucker

Washington doesn't typically have a lot of pull with recruits from the state of Louisiana, but the Dawgs made an early impression on Ouachita (Monroe, La.) DE/LB Caleb Tucker and after his visit last month, the talented defensive prospect decided he wanted to add his name to become a Husky. Today, Dawgman.com looks at how his decision will effect the roster as well as the rest of the 2013 class...

The decision: According to those who had been talking to Tucker as the recruiting process got underway this spring, the talented defensive end/linebacker had been a heavy Washington lean for quite some time. The Huskies are currently the only BCS school to offer Tucker, so, in some senses it was really a no-brainer for him to decide to commit.

However, he admitted to Scout.com's Greg Biggins that he wanted to get on campus and see things in person before he made his decision.

"I didn't want to commit before I saw the place," Tucker said back on June 29th. "My dad came up with me too and we both loved it here. We met so many great people and the opportunity to commit with all the guys was a lot of fun.

"I really enjoyed myself at this camp and have a great comfort level with all the coaches. Tosh Lupoi was the one who recruited me and we really get along great and I'm excited to play for him. This was a great day for me, very special for sure."


Scouting Report: Probably one of the biggest reasons that some more high-profile schools from the south hadn't offered Tucker is because he's a bit of a 'tweener, measuring in at 6'2" and weighing in at 225 pounds.

He plays linebacker in high school, but he's a player that is constantly moving forward and some were waiting to see how flexible he was in dropping into coverage.

When we saw him live at the Rising Stars camp, Tucker was a real force rushing the quarterback and his legit 4.55 speed is what is very intriguing.

He obviously will need to gain some size and strength, but he has the frame to add another 15 to 20 pounds pretty easily and he should be a nice fit somewhere in Washington's front seven.


Bonus baby!: When we interviewed Tucker the day after he committed, he told us he plans to graduate early and enroll at Washington in time to participate in spring football next year.

That will really help him get acclimated to the speed of the college game and could net him some early playing time if he is able to show the coaches they shouldn't keep him off the field.


Where does he fit?: For now, it appears that Tucker will be a hybrid defensive end/linebacker in Washington's hybrid 3-4 scheme.

He looks a lot like Josh Shirley did in high school where his aggression and athleticism really wreaked havoc on opposing offenses and he will likely wind up behind Shirley as well as Corey Waller when he arrives.

A big thing that still needs to be seen is how he handles dropping into coverage and pursuing plays away from him. He appears to have a great motor and with his outstanding speed, that shouldn't be an issue, but until he actually does it, that area will be a question mark.


Effect on the rest of the 2013 class: Tucker is a unique athlete and his decision could affect what Washington does at not just one, but two positions.

With Tucker in the fold, the Huskies could opt to stick with him along the defensive line and continue to focus their attention on several other linebackers who they want to bring into the fold.

Washington already has commitments from Connor O'Brien and Sean Constantine at the linebacker spot and are still in the mix for players like Marvin Gross, Sean Barton, Victor Egu and Jerome Lane at the outside linebacker spot.

O'Brien plays safety at Santa Margarita, but will likely be a strongside (SAM) linebacker in Washington's scheme, while Constantine will play inside.

Gross and Lane both appear to be copies of Tucker, so they may not be players the Huskies continue to focus on.

Barton and Egu both appear to players the Huskies still want to get into the fold, with Egu being able to play the weakside (WIL) spot or even move outside to battle O'Brien at the SAM.

Barton is definitely a WIL and, while he seems to be looking elsewhere at this point (Stanford appears to be the leader), Washington has continued to focus a lot of attention his way.

One player who Tucker would battle directly with if he were to choose Washington down the road is Deon Hollins.

Hollins is another player who can get after the quarterback (he totaled 15 sacks last season) and, like Tucker and Shirley, he rarely plays in reverse in high school.

Hollins remains committed to UCLA, but many still expect him to take visits and Washington is a school who could see him visit during the fall.

Where Tucker eventually ends up being placed could definitely influence how hard Washington pursues several of those prospects.

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