A Texas Longhorns linebacker room in need of talent and productivity got exactly that on Friday with James Madison transfer Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey announcing his commitment to the Horns over Central Florida.
not surprised cuz i knew... my dreams coming true pic.twitter.com/HGC4EKLKeB— Diamonté Tucker-Dorsey (@TuckerDorsey_) May 27, 2022
Tucker-Dorsey spent less than two weeks in the portal, announcing his transfer from JMU on May 17.
Within the next couple of days, in addition to Texas, Tucker-Dorsey gathered offers from Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Auburn, and UCF, and gaining interest from others. Of that bunch though, given his compressed timeline, only UCF emerged as a legitimate contender to Texas — he officially visited the Knights over the weekend before taking an official trip to the Forty Acres on May 23.
Of course, considering his commitment, Tucker-Dorsey saved the best for last, and just days after leaving Austin, he’s now a Longhorn.
“The biggest part of the decision is trying to get to that next level by playing on a bigger stage,” Tucker-Dorsey told Sports Illustrated. “They’ve got a really good schedule this year. It’s the Big 12, and Texas is a football state so it really doesn’t get too much bigger.
“The facilities stood out to me the most. It’s big-time football; that’s what I dreamed of and that’s what I wanted coming out of high school. That and the big, huge stadium with 100,000 [fans] in the atmosphere—it felt real. It’s what I’ve been missing out on.”
A Norfolk, Virginia product in the 2017 recruiting class, Tucker-Dorsey was a consensus two-star prospect who also held offers from Delaware State, Elon, Norfolk State, and Youngstown State. In 2017, the 5’10, 214-pounder redshirted before emerging as a special teams contributor in 2018. By 2020, Tucker-Dorsey was a full-time starter, recording 51 total tackles (19 solo) to go with 2.5 tackles for loss, a half sack, one pass breakup, and two quarterback hurries in eight games. As a redshirt junior in 2021, Tucker-Dorsey broke out, leading the Dukes with 116 tackles, adding nine tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions.
“I wanted to be a plug-and-play guy at that Will linebacker spot. I have a chance to compete in the boundary, and I’m a versatile player so they’ll use me in pass coverage but also blitzing, checking running backs out of the backfield, zone coverage, stuff like that,” Tucker-Dorsey said.
“I’m bringing passion, I’m bringing a dog [mentality] and leadership. I’ve got an old-school mentality when it comes to this football thing. I don’t want to be your friend. I’m gonna be sportsmanlike, but when we’re on that field it’s you versus me.”
Texas has a clear need at inside linebacker with only eight other players projected at the position for preseason camp, including Luke Brockermeyer, who is still recovering from a torn ACL. With the Longhorns landing Tucker-Dorsey, it could address one of the last major needs this offseason and put Texas at 85 scholarship players for the 2022 season — the caveat being that despite his grad transfer tag, he entered the portal after the May 1 deadline to be immediately eligible, so he’ll require a waiver to play in 2022.
But assuming that waiver comes to fruition, the Longhorns likely just landed a starter in the former FCS All-American.