By LARRY VAUGHT
Football is a true family affair for 6-5, 285-pound Cincinnati St. Xavier junior offensive lineman Tucker Kattus, a top 500 prospect in his recruiting class in the On3 rankings.
His father Eric was an all-Big Ten offensive lineman at Michigan with Jim Harbaugh, Michigan’s current coach, and then played in the NFL from 1986-92. His oldest brother, Josh, is a sophomore tight end at Kentucky. Another brother, 6-1, 220-pound Justin, is a high school senior teammate who plays a variety of positions and also has a Kentucky offer.
Tucker Kattus already has 11 scholarship offers, including Kentucky. The others are Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Duke, Illinois, Cincinnati, Boston College, Toledo and Miami (Ohio).
Tucker says it is “awesome” to have family members who love football as much as him to “coach him hard” and give him feedback that he needs about his play.
“They all have big expectations for me and I don’t want to let them down,” he said. “They were never easy on me but that just toughened me up. I started playing in the fourth grade and my dad was my coach in the early years.
“We would watch film together and then go out in the driveway and learn new techniques. He was always teaching and helping me.”
Josh was a senior at Cincinnati Moeller when Tucker was a freshman at St. Xavier.
“It was really crazy playing against each other but it was also fun,” he said.
If he picked Kentucky, the two would get to play at least one year together again and he could also be playing with his brother Justin if he also picks Kentucky.
“Recruiting has been fun and just makes me want to work harder,” Tucker said. “I want to prove to coaches they can trust me and I can play.”
He admits he talks to Josh about potential college choices and Josh wants him “to go where I will be the happiest but we both think it would be fun to play together” in college.
“I want to go to a place where they will develop me the best, I love the school and I will get a good education,” Tucker said. “I want it to be a place that really wants me.”
He says his brother Josh is helping him the most with recruiting because it has changed so much from the time his father was recruited.
“Josh had to deal with the COVID year but he’s been through this type of recruiting. He’s helping me with my decision,” Tucker said. “I would not go to Kentucky just because he is there but he would love me to come there. Justin also really likes Kentucky but he’ll also go where he thinks is best for him.”
Tucker keeps his parents “heavily involved” in his recruitment and takes them on any campus visits he makes.
“My mom is also a big sports fan. She loves football,” he said. “She pushes us hard because she knows the opportunities we have. She wants us to take full advantage of them and be the best we can be.”
What does he do best that college coaches like so much?
“I am very good in pass protection, explosive off the ball, can put guys on ground so you run behind me and get yards,” Tucker said. “I am quick on my feet. I’ve always been athletic. I played basketball until my freshman year when I decided to concentrate on football but basketball definitely helped my footwork.”