The NCAA transfer portal is helping shape perception ahead of the 2022 season, and major decisions are still coming every day.
Arguably the most coveted player on the market is American FCS linebacker Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey, who wrapped up his visits to Texas and UCF last week. Texas A&M, Auburn, Ole Miss and others also offered the senior a chance to play at a higher level this season. In the end, the University of Texas won the competition.
“It’s my life that I play with,” said Tucker-Dorsey Sports Illustrated late Thursday. “I have six months left to play college football to see if I can get that chance the next time around, so I’m going to make sure to check all the boxes to find the perfect situation for me.
“I feel like that’s what it’s like at the University of Texas. We’re going to the University of Texas.
The 5’10”, 214-pound redshirt junior, who recorded 116 tackles (including 9 tackles for loss), 2.5 sacks and four interceptions in 2021, informed Steve Sarkisian’s staff of his commitment decision before to leave campus mid-week.
“The biggest part of the decision is trying to take it to the next level by playing on a bigger stage,” Tucker-Dorsey said. “They have a very good schedule this year. It’s the Big 12, and Texas is a football state so it’s not getting too big.
“The facilities impressed me the most. This is high-profile football; that’s what I dreamed of and that’s what I wanted when I left high school. That and the big, huge stadium with 100,000 [fans]in the atmosphere – it was real. That’s what I missed. »
Texas have been reloading through the transfer portal since their 5-7 season ended last year and expectations are high in Austin. He has a national marquee against preseason No. 1 Alabama at home on Sept. 10.
Tucker-Dorsey smiles as he thinks about the opposition and the scene compared to the first four years of his college football experience.
“I always knew I was one of those guys,” he says. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I just know that with my level of talent and what God gave me, it was huge. So it’s a little fulfilling, but it really makes me more difficult. I I’m in a better position, but it doesn’t matter if I don’t go and prove myself.
Making the official visits to UCF and Texas, especially with the accelerated timeline, Tucker-Dorsey was able to initiate talking points with the defensive coaches to make sure it was what he wanted for her senior year of college prom.
Scroll to continue
He worked on his own checklist for each contender, including vision, fit, usage, pattern, depth at linebacker, areas for improvement, current players who are considered among the most working on the list and even the number (#2) he could wear while sporting the burnt orange.
Tucker-Dorsey also spent time with the nutrition team under Sarkisian in town, already setting the fitness goals for the summer and 2022 season. Nothing was left to chance during his time in Texas this week. The trip ended with a movie session with her future trainer Jeff Choate.
“I wanted to be a plug-and-play guy at that linebacker Will position,” Tucker-Dorsey says. “I have a chance to compete in bounds, and I’m an all-around player, so they’ll use me for pass coverage but also for blitzing, checking ball carriers out of the backfield, area coverage , stuff like that.
“I bring the passion, I bring a dog [mentality]and management. I have an old school mentality when it comes to this football stuff. I don’t want to be your friend. I’m going to be athletic, but when we’re on this pitch, it’s you against me.
Tucker-Dorsey plans to move to Austin on Monday to begin the final leg of her college career.
“I knew going in there I would have a short window,” he says. “I didn’t want to miss any practice or anything. I wanted to start building and locking as soon as possible.
Longhorn’s newest defender plans to make the most of his time at the top level of Power 5 football, where his experience and leadership could help bolster a unit ranked No. 100 in total defense among FBS programs last season .
“You get a voucher; I promise you that,” says Tucker-Dorsey. “Hate it or love it, the underdog is on top. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Work hard, put your head down and keep believing. That’s the most important thing… keep pushing.
Tucker-Dorsey during his official visit to Texas this week.
The Austin facilities “realized” a lifelong dream of playing on a national stage.
Wearing No. 2, as he did at JMU, factored into the decision.
More from AISA: