VT in on Top Defensive Prospect

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St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) boasts one of the top defenders on the East coast in DE/LB Tony Tucker . Tucker, a two-way starter at defensive end and tight end for head coach Joe Patterson, racked up 65 tackles including 17 tackles-for-loss and 12 sacks as a junior last season. He is a very good tight end as well, but it is his defense that has earned him over 20 Division 1A scholarship offers.

“I’d say he has great quickness and a great first step. He’s a devastating pass rusher,” Patterson said. “He’s got good strength. He’s got nice frame. He’s a legit 6-2, 235 pounds, and he runs a 4.6. He’s a good athlete. Towards the end of last season he really got better at holding the point against the run, but his biggest threat is as a pass rusher.”

Patterson, who has guided St. John’s to a WCAC semifinal appearance each of the past two seasons, believes Tucker could play outside linebacker or defensive end on the next level.

“I think it does depend on the system,” Patterson said. “Some schools like him as a standup defensive end or outside linebacker. That seems to be where his body fits most naturally right now, but I think he’s going to grow into a legitimate d-end. He’s added 18 pounds this off-season. He is fast enough to cover but we haven’t been using him at linebacker.”

Tucker doesn’t seem to have a position preference.

“That’s a really hard question,” Tucker replied when asked which position – defensive end or linebacker – he would play in college. “I like defensive end. I’ve been playing it as long as I remember. At linebacker, I love getting the opportunity to make a big hit on someone. Whatever makes the team better. I’ll play defensive end or linebacker.”

Many ACC schools – including Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech – as well as schools from the Big East and SEC conferences have extended written offers. Tucker has made unofficial visits to Akron, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt and Tennessee.

Asked which programs stood out among the ones he’s visited so far, Tucker said “I liked Georgia Tech. It’s a real comfortable, laid-back place. I liked Clemson. I liked Tennessee. Those are the three schools I’ve been to that I really liked.”

Is Virginia Tech under consideration?

“I want to visit Virginia