Recruits across the nation find themselves in unfamiliar territory when they navigate the recruiting process virtually. Many of them haven't stepped onto the college campus that will be home for the next four years.
Chance Tucker, a cornerback out of Crespi High School in Encino, California, finds himself caught in this dilemma. With 21 offers, Tucker relies on Zoom calls and virtual visits to distinguish between his top schools.
“I am trying to narrow down my top three,” he said.
Tucker hasn't visited any of these schools that have offered him, officially or unofficially.
“These past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking that it’s possible that I’m going to have to make a decision without actually getting on these visits,” he conceded.
Tucker was not ready to disclose his top schools from a list that includes Washington, but he shared the most important aspects that will help him make a decision.
“I want to go somewhere, you know, where they're going to develop me, not only as a football player or as a DB, but also as a man," he said, "and it's going to prepare me for life after football and all of the challenges that come with life."
A virtual visit held with Washington coach,Jimmy Lake, is the closest that will bring Tucker to Montlake for the time being.
“I'm still in the process of narrowing down my top schools and just trying to get as much info on all the schools so that I'll be able to make the best decision," Tucker said. "But I do definitely feel a connection to Washington."
Lake spent an extended amount of time speaking with Tucker’s family on the virtual visit.
“I especially enjoyed talking with the coach and him making the time he spent talking with me and my parents,” he said.
Tucker has developed solid relationships with the UW defensive-back coaches, Will Harris and Terrence Brown.
If he could find two words to describe his experience with the Huskies so far, they would be “awesome and impressive” to recap his Zoom call.
Tucker noted that the UW's Foster School of Business at Washington carries the prestige of being ranked as one of the top 20 business schools in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. He's an aspiring business major and has a cumulative 4.3 GPA.
“I know that's one of the top business schools and I know that they are building something special there,” said Tucker.
He was impressed at the collective GPA for the current Husky defensive backs, on top of the team's reputation for developing defensive backs.
Tucker said he brings the same work ethic to the classroom and the field. He's tried to take on a leadership role with his Crespi team. With a high football IQ, he also has dreams of playing in the NFL someday.
He's dealing with the pandemic-restricted recruiting process as best he can.
“I'm a tough kid and I'm not going to back down from any challenges,” the cornerback shared.