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One of the biggest recruiting battles in the Pac-12 ended Thursday night when ESPN 300 offensive tackle Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) announced his commitment to Stanford on Twitter.
Originally committed to USC, the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Tucker narrowed his final choices to Stanford and Arizona State after backing away from his pledge to the Trojans.
Tucker, the nation's No. 39 prospect, was slated to take an official visit to Arizona State this weekend, but will no longer visit the Sun Devils.
|Casey Tucker is the latest prized offensive lineman to commit to Stanford.|
It's yet another huge win along the offensive line for Stanford recruiting. The Cardinal still are riding the momentum generated by a tremendous 2012 haul that featured five-star tackle Andrus Peat, four-star tackles Kyle Murphy, Nick Davidson and Graham Shuler, four-star guard Joshua Garnett and three-star guards Brandon Fanaika and Johnny Caspers. After taking a smaller class with just two tackles in 2013, Stanford focused early on Tucker as the big prize in 2014.
The nation's No. 5 offensive lineman, Tucker joins quarterback Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) atop Stanford's 2014 class, giving the Cardinal two of the top five prospects in the West region.
With that 2012 class possibly occupying all five starting spots along Stanford's O-line in 2014, it wouldn't be surprising to see Tucker find another way onto the field as a true freshman, considering how offensive linemen are utilized in the Cardinal offense.
Tucker joined No. 1 tight end Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham) as recruits who recently visited the school and made subsequent commitments. ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), cornerback Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian) and offensive guard Jesse Burkett (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) also visited with Tucker and Schultz and are still mulling final decisions on where to commit.
Stanford recently moved up from from No. 29 to No. 23 in the ESPN class rankings on the strength of Schultz's commitment. And even though Stanford lost a verbal from ESPN 300 defensive tackle Nifae Lealao (Sacramento, Calif./Capital Christian), the commitment from Tucker could see the Cardinal climb even higher in the rankings next week.