« Notes from Thursday's Canes practice: Ice Harris talks becoming an assistant; Golden has high praise for Heaps | Main | More Kaaya, a little more Williams, lightning, Langham and................. it's Goudis! »

Two-way Tucker not shying away from playing linebacker or fullback for Canes

When JaWand Blue and Alex Figueroa were arrested and booted off the team last month following their arrests on sexual battery, sophomore Walter Tucker said he had an idea coaches might ask him to move back to linebacker. 

Apparently, though, coaches didn't get around to it until Monday -- the day before camp started. 

"Basically [linebackers coach] Hurlie [Brown] called telling me to come to the office," Tucker said. "He asked if I minded playing linebacker. I was down for it."

Tucker (6-0, 218 pounds) is still down to play fullback, too. And as far as coach Al Golden is concerned, Tucker will.

Although he spent the first three days of camp at middle linebacker and will spend the rest of it shadowing starter and leading tackler Denzel Perryman, Tucker said he still expects to come in and block or carry the ball in short yardage situations as a fullback.

"It really shows that I'm an athlete," said Tucker, who said he still participates in team meetings with the running backs to stay fresh with that side of the ball. "In the past, when I was younger, I always played both sides of the ball.

"With the [defensive] scheme, things are coming along better than what it was last year. I also have DP there to help me. We always get together after practice and work on plays."

Tucker was a two-way star at Plantation American Heritage as well as a track star. He won a pair of state titles in the 110-meter hurdles and had the nation's fastest time as a senior at 13.89 seconds.

This summer, Tucker said he was timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.4 seconds, squats 405 pounds, bench presses 330 pounds and produced 25 reps on the bench of the NFL Combine testing standard (225 pounds).

What does he like about middle linebacker? "Basically, you get all the action," he said. "You are the head hunter and you are also like the quarterback of the defense. You're in control."

Golden called Tucker explosive earlier this week. 

“He’s a 4.5 guy who’s 230,” Golden said. “He played a lot there last year and even a great deal before the bowl game, he took a lot of reps there. He’s got some stored up. Talking to [linebackers coach] [Brown], he was comfortable with his recall to this point.”