Linebacker Joshua Tatum of McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., is not an unfamiliar name on the national high school recruiting scene. Schools such as Miami, Tennessee, and two-time defending National Champion USC have known about the Northern California talent for sometime. However, after impressive performances, despite an ankle sprain, at the Scout.com Combine in Berkeley, and the Nike Camp at Stanford, the talented Tatum received a pair of offers he didn't expect. "Oklahoma and Michigan offered me right after the Stanford camp," Tatum said. "I hadn't really been hearing from a lot of schools in that area, and both programs are loaded with tradition and have always had great linebackers. They definitely are in my top seven. If I had a top eight I would add Mississippi State. I've known Coach Orgeron since he was at USC, and they are recruiting me very hard."
Tatum suffered a dislocated shoulder during a practice last year, but just received a clean bill of health. "I went to the doctor the other day and he said I was 100-percent," Tatum said.
Linebacker Joshua Tatum of McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif. goes through drills at the Scout.com Combine held May 15 at t he University of California-Berkeley.
"Oklahoma also has a good business program, and they are always playing for the National Championship. They've had some great linebackers too."
Tatum has been doing his homework regarding the depth at some of the teams at which he is looking. "I know Miami loses a couple guys, and they really didn't recruit linebackers last year," he said. "USC took in four All-Americans last year, but I'm not afraid of competition. Michigan has a big need at linebacker and getting on the field is real important to me, and one of the things I'll be looking at. I'm friends with Kevin Simon at Tennessee and he tells me they really need linebackers. They've has a lot of success and California players that have gone there do well."
Tatum lands his standing broad jump at the Berkeley Combine. He had a jump of 9-feet, 8-inches.
Tatum knows where he'd like to announce his decision. "It's been my dream to commit at the Army All-American game," he said. "But if I feel comfortable with a school, I won't hesitate to commit earlier."
Tatum reports a 3.6 grade-point-average and a 1350 on the new version of the SAT.