Marcus Tatum’s recruitment figures to get much more complicated very soon.
The 3-star offensive tackle prospect from Mainland High School (Daytona Beach, Fla.) looked destined to end up at Florida, Miami or Tennessee. After all, he has official visits scheduled to Florida and Miami in January after already taking one to Tennessee in November. It was 3-horse race, right? Not with Alabama suddenly emerging.
The Crimson Tide has continued to hang around. Now, Tatum is considering an official visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., thanks in part to fond memories with Alabama’s coaching staff.
Tatum still remembers taking part in a summer camp at Alabama. Coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal made an impression.
“Just the way they develop their players,” Tatum said about what’s appealing about Alabama.
Tatum recalls being allowed to participate in a seven-on-seven passing camp, which is unheard of for an offensive lineman. Yet ‘Bama’s coaches allowed him to compete as a tight end.
“They were all just saying they want what would be best for me and it would all be based off on how my body developed so it was nice to see them recognize I could do both,” Tatum said.
Tatum did well. However, he has grown into an athletic offensive tackle prospect, albeit a lean one. The 6-foot-6 ½ Tatum said he’s consistently weighing between 255 and 260 pounds, but plans to be close to 280 pounds by graduation.
Tatum is far from a finished prospect at that weight. However, it’s his raw ability that have coaches interested. Tennessee is certainly intrigued. The Vols invited Tatum for an official visit in November, and he visited Tennessee’s bowl practice on Monday. There is clearly mutual interest.
“Very up tempo,” Tatum said of Tennessee’s practice. “Got a lot done in a quick amount of time. Very competitive.”
Tatum will take an official visit to Miami on Jan. 22. However, before that he’ll take an official visit to Florida on Jan. 15. Many think Tatum is destined to end up a Gator. Much of the Florida coaching staff is trying to make sure Tatum doesn’t slip through their fingers.
“They have turned it up even more,” he said. “I talk to a good amount of coaches. It’s not even just offensive caches I have been talking to, many defensive coaches too. I talk to coach Mac (Jim McElwain) quite a bit as well.”
Admittedly, Tatum has recently taken a relaxed approach to recruiting. Now, it’s time for the frantic race to National Signing Day to begin.