March 21, 2008

Tucker is first Sun Devil commit of 2009 class

ASUDevils.com was first to break news of Arizona State's first verbal commitment of the 2009 class, 6-foot-3, 187 pound Aurora (Colo.) Grandview High two-way standout Matthew Tucker. Following the decision, Tucker spoke with us about his decision to pledge the Sun Devils.

Tucker was a key player for Grandview in the school's 12-2, 5A championship season. He saw time at quarterback primarily on rushing downs for a team that uses a zone blocking scheme similar to the Denver Broncos. He also played wide receiver and was used as a return specialist. But where Tucker really made his mark was at safety, and that's the position where he is projected to play in college.

The cousin of Devin Brunson, an Arizona State student assistant who works immediately under Director of Football Operations Tom Kleinlein, Tucker has received a lot of information about the Sun Devils in recent years, but had not yet begun to develop a first-hand impression.

In Tempe with his father (who is an assistant at Grandview) for an unofficial visit this week, Tucker got a chance to do just that. He was impressed enough to provide ASU with a verbal commitment when offered a scholarship while on the trip. It was his first offer.

"I really liked the coaches," Tucker said. "That's what stands out the most to me. They're great coaches and really easy to get along with and like. They know a lot about the game and coming here you're going to learn a lot and really know as much as you can about the game.

"Last season I followed what they did really closely and to have that type of season when it wasn't even with their recruiting class is really impressive."

Athletically, Tucker is considered to be an impressive talent, perhaps among the Top-10 overall recruits in the state. He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and the shuttle run in 4.3 seconds, with a vertical jump of 33 inches. He has a nice, lanky frame and will carry 200-plus pounds easily and yet maintain, if not improve, his speed and explosiveness.

As a junior, Tucker had 80 tackles, five interceptions, nine pass breakups and three fumble recoveries. Offensively he had 15 carries for 45 yards and five touchdowns; five catches for 55 yards; 45 passing yards and one touchdown throw.

"Pretty much everyone was recruiting me as a safety or an outside linebacker," Tucker said. "ASU said they like me as a safety and I like the way they play their safeties and think it should be a good fit for me."

Now that he's made this early commitment, Tucker said that he's re-evaluating his spring and summer schedule. He likely won't travel for large camps, but may attend local events at Colorado and/or Colorado State.

"It's all about getting ready for that next level now." Tucker said. "I just want to work really hard the rest of the off-season so I can have a good senior year and then be prepared to make a good transition to college football. I know it's a big step up to that level and I want to do everything I can to be ready for it."

To that end, Tucker said that he will likely graduate from Grandview in December and enroll at ASU for the spring semester in 2009, which would make him eligible for spring football, thus giving him a huge jump on fellow freshmen in the class.

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