Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cliff Tucker Joins the Football Team

Cliff Tucker (2007-11) recently joined the ranks of former Maryland basketball players eligible for mention in this blog, but he's not leaving Maryland quite yet. Tucker has joined the Maryland football team as a wide receiver, as briefly reported in the Baltimore Sun and Testudo Times, and more extensively detailed by Patrick Stevens' D1scourse blog in the Washington Times, who went back to an interview he did with Tucker as a freshman in 2008:
"To tell you the truth, football was kind of the No. 1 in high school," Tucker said then. "Basketball is my first love. I learned that first. All the sudden, high school came and I became a dominant football player. I just loved playing the game and everything. I just fell in love with football a little bit more. Then I just sat down and thought to myself 'I know I can't do both.' I knew it was kind of too tough. Basketball's a lot longer career. In football, you get injured and things like that."

Considering Tucker is 6-foot-6, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise he caught 19 touchdowns to go along with 939 receiving yards as a high school senior. And why not? He was likely to win any jump ball in the end zone with a defensive back, even in a football-rich state like Texas (Tucker attended high school in El Paso).

Big 12 schools such as Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M expressed interest.
I think Calvin McCall was the last athlete who played football and basketball for the Terps. He made the jump the other way, splitting time with both teams for two years before quitting football to concentrate on basketball. McCall is now coaching basketball at his old high school in Orlando, Florida.

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