December 16, 2007

Coaching changes impacts two-star's decision

MOBILE, Ala. - Marbury, Ala. offensive lineman, Josh Tatum has been spending the past week preparing for a Monday night game against the best players that Mississippi has to offer. He will be blocking for the best that Alabama has to offer and he has enjoyed every minute of practice so far.

"It's a big time honor," Tatum said of being named to the Alabama all-star team. "I'm the first one from my school to go to this game. It's just an honor to get to represent my coaches and my team and my community and the state of Alabama."

Before this week, it had been weeks since the 6-foot-6 tackle had donned the pads but he is happy to get back in the swing of things, particularly against such an outstanding group of players.

"After not being in pads for four or five weeks it tends to be tough to get back into things," he said. "It's a little hard but it's been fun. There so many good players here. I'm still trying to learn everybody's name but everybody out here is an awesome player. We've made a lot of new friends. It's been an awesome experience."

Tatum's had thought that his college recruitment was over when he committed to play for the University of Arkansas, but the recent firing of Houston Nutt threw things back up in the air. Though he is still committed to the Razorbacks, Tatum is very interested in where offensive line coach Mike Markuson ends up.

"As of right now, I'm still committed to Arkansas," Tatum said. "I hadn't had a chance to talk to the new coaches. I think it's going to be good for Arkansas. Petrino's a great coach, but I'm just waiting to see where coach Markuson, the offensive line coach goes. He's the one that gave me my scholarship offer. I'm basically committed to him and I just want to go wherever he goes."

Tatum's relationship he built with the Arkansas coaching staff is what drew him to Fayetteville and that relationship is what he is committed to.

"[Coach Markuson]'s a great guy and Coach Nutt's a great guy too and that's the reason I basically decided to go to Arkansas. They just brought me in and made me feel like I was family, like I belonged with them. After Coach Nutt left it kind of brought my hopes down for Arkansas, so I'm just waiting to see where coach Makuson goes."

While he is waiting out his recruitment process, Tatum is having plenty of fun holding his own against some of the best players in the southeast.



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