May 13, 2016
Derrick Tucker has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks throughout Texas, and the Texas A&M Aggies will hope he does so at the next level after securing the commitment of the 4-star safety on Friday, per Taylor Hamm of 247Sports:
Tucker is No. 146 overall and No. 14 at his position, per 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2017 recruiting class. He’s also the 22nd-best player in the state of Texas. The Manvel High School star made a major jump on the field in 2015, making 46 tackles—five of which were for a loss—and intercepting four passes, per 247Sports.
That only helped Tucker’s profile grow and a number of schools took notice. The Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs and Houston Cougars all looked to keep him closer to home, while he also received scholarship offers from the Illinois Fighting Illini, Missouri Tigers and Utah Utes.
At 6’3″, Tucker is blessed with great height for a safety. As long as he can add some bulk, he’ll have the perfect frame for his position. At his current weight (180 lbs), he could be overpowered against upperclassmen from top-tier FBS teams.
According to Hudl, Tucker ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash. That time might be worrying if he played another position, but Tucker is more than fast enough to play safety. Plus, he’ll likely shave off some of that time as he approaches his physical peak.
Acceleration is a better asset to have for a safety than straight-line speed, and in that regard, Tucker won’t have any trouble. He closes down on wide receivers and ball-carriers well—a trait that will only get stronger once he gets some coaching to learn how to read a play as it unfolds.
He showed off his impressive footwork during a training session last April:
It will be interesting to see how Tucker’s game develops over the next few years.
He currently fits the profile of a box safety. He’s a very good run defender, but he might struggle in pass coverage against teams that use the spread offense. That wouldn’t preclude Tucker from having a highly productive college career though, as Ian Boyd of SB Nation’s Football Study Hall explained that box safeties are becoming more valuable again.
Should he become a smarter player though, Tucker might grow into a more versatile safety who roams all around the field rather than playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
Either way, he’s a great addition to Texas A&M’s 2017 class, and he should become a vital member of the defense in a few years.
Star rankings courtesy of 247Sports.
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