JASPER, Texas — Many (La.) four-star inside linebacker Tackett Curtis returned to the field last Friday night right across the state border in southeast Texas where his team took on Jasper in the first scrimmage of the season.
For the USC commit, it was a great feeling to get back on the field and knock some heads around on both sides of the ball.
“It feels great,” Curtis said. “That first drive, there wasn’t nothing like it. You can’t hit as hard in practice as you can out here. I’ve been waiting for that forever and finally got to do it, it felt good.”
Curtis is already a legend at Many, but the nephew of the team’s head coach and son of the school’s principal wants to leave a legacy that will be remembered in The Boot forever.
“I want to leave a legacy here at Many, win another state championship and have two of them for my class,” he said. “It’s never been done before so I want to be able to say I did that. It’s what I’ve been working for all summer.”
Earlier this summer, Curtis locked his recruitment down and chose USC over major contenders because of strong relationships with Lincoln Riley and inside linebackers coach Brian Odom.
“It’s been great, we’re on the phone all the time,” Curtis said. “It’s crazy how much I’m on the phone with them. I love those guys. I’ll call Coach Riley and Coach Odom just about every week. We touch base with them and they let me know how camp has been going. It seems like they’re in a good spot right now so I’m excited to watch them.”
Since his commitment, news of USC making a move to the Big Ten has surfaced which has Curtis even more excited about what’s to come in Los Angeles.
“I feel like nothing but great things come out of that,” he said. “Moving from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten, the Big Ten has more of a spotlight on it. It’s my favorite conference, personally. I feel like they’ll get better game times and we’ll see USC more on TV rather than late at night. I think the primetime will be good for them.”
Curtis fits a Big Ten linebacker mold, and USC will need him to step on the field early upon arriving on campus to help turn the program around under Lincoln Riley.
“One of the big things they preached to me is playing early,” he said. “They dove in on me and that’s really what made me want to go there. It was like they shut out everybody else and wanted me. They expect me to come in and get reps early.”
Along with Curtis in the USC linebacker class is Friendswood (Texas) four-star outside linebacker Braylan Shelby who is someone Curtis can’t wait to line up alongside at the next level.
“I can’t wait to meet him,” Curtis said. “I asked Coach Odom about him and he told me about him, and he seems like a stud. I watched some clips on Twitter of him and hit him up like, ‘Man, me and you on that defense would be bad.’ And then later, he committed.”
Curtis has also maintained contact with five-star quarterback commit Malachi Nelson who talk together about what they can achieve at USC.
“Me and him talk about just building that legacy,” he said. “He has a lot of goals and dreams, he wants to win the Heisman, he wants to do this and that. It’s our dream, we want to bring USC back to being great again. There’s no limit. If we get it going early, recruits will see that USC is the place to be.”
At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Curtis is the No. 66 ranked recruit in the country for the class of 2023, according to Rivals. He is the No. 2 ranked inside linebacker in the country and the No. 4 recruit from the state of Louisiana.