Mustang News Staff Report
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Cal Poly football’s top threat at wide receiver may be sticking around after all.
Junior Willie Tucker was granted his release from the team earlier this year and expressed interest in transferring to Football Bowl Subdivision schools for the final year of his collegiate career.
Tucker was recently reenlisted on the Mustangs’ roster, but won’t participate in spring practice to rehab a knee injury suffered last season against Yale.
Tucker was originally in talks with Fresno State and Oregon State, but with Cal Poly’s 2014 Spring Football Camp looming on Saturday, he had a change of heart, he said.
“After sitting back and looking at the decision, I decided that this is the best place for me to be education-wise and school-wise,” Tucker said. “Everything is working out now, so why change it?”
Tucker led all receivers last season, averaging 17.3 yards per catch and was second on the team in total receiving yards with 312, despite missing seven of Cal Poly’s 12 games.
“He’s one of the best receivers in the Big Sky (Conference),” head coach Tim Walsh said. “So we’re hoping he can return to that.”
Cal Poly’s run-based offense ranked No. 1 in the Football Championship Subdivision, averaging 301.9 yards per game in 2013, while its passing threat ranked near the bottom with 134.5 yards per game. That was part of Tucker’s reasoning for shopping around for a more pass-heavy program.
“At the end of the day, I’m not the coach, I’m a player,” Tucker said. “If I don’t get the ball as much as I’d like, it doesn’t matter. I’m not the coach. I’m going to help our team get that national championship.”
Cal Poly opens spring drills on Saturday with the annual Spring Game slotted for May 3 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Stephan Teodosescu and Evan Morter contributed to this report.