East County Sports

Tucker to continue career at Cornell

Robert Tucker, a Grossmont High senior, signs a Letter of Intent to play football at Cornell University on Wednesday.


By Nick Pellegrino

EL CAJON – When it comes to the gold standard on East County running backs, former Helix High standout Reggie Bush is the obvious choice. But that may soon change.

Following his senior year, Grossmont High School running back Robert Tucker is switching from the Foothillers’ Big Blue and is going red. “Big Red,” to be exact.

Tucker, a member of the 2019 All-East County first team, will play his college football in the Ivy League for Cornell. Technically, a non-scholarship program and conference, Tucker will be part of an athletic department endowment fund to cover his college expenses.

As a junior in 2019, Tucker registered Bush-esque numbers, falling just a touch short of gaining for 1,000 yards in both the ground and through the air.

The Hillers’ back rushed for 1,075 yards on just 118 carries (9.1 per play average), good for 10 touchdowns.Nice, but when coupled with his receiving totals — 905 yards for an additional 10 TDs — it becomes remarkable. In all, he compiled 2,355 all-purpose yards,and  21 scores.

In fact, should the season somehow by played, Tucker owns a solid chance to break both the Grossmont Conference and East County records for total offense.

No wonder, he was a rare underclassman on the first team among the All-CIF San Diego Section selections.

“Tuck is like family. He is what every coach wants in a student athlete.” said Foothillers coach Tom Karlo. “Robert  is an example to others that hard work in the classroom and on the field pays off.”

Should the season be played, Tucker owns a solid chance to break both the Grossmont Conference and East County records for total offense.

Tucker’s finest performance came early in the ’19 season. On Sept. 13, when the 5-foot-9, 190-pound back ran roughshod all over Olympian High to the tune of six touchdowns.

His totals included  275 yards and three TDs rushing the football, plus six receptions for 116 yards and three more scores in Grossmont’s 52-28 triumph.

For his effort of 391 yards in total offense, Tucker was one of the national players of the week by USA Football LINK: Robert Tucker’s High School Awards), and the Southern California player of the week by a pair of services, CalHiSports and SBLSports, plus several other local media services.

Oddly, the CIF-San Diego Section record book does not list a record for total offense (rushing and receiving), only one for quarterbacks for combined passing and rushing; it’s held by former El Capitan QB Tanner Rust, who totaled 616 yards (597 passing, 19 rushing) against Santana on Nov. 9, 2007.

Both Grossmont and El Capitan would need to report this since the CIF and NFHS no longer accept reports on records from the media, they only use the media to verify achievement nominations. Tanner’s mark would be tied for seventh place nationally after acceptance.

Tucker is an all-academic student, too. Among the schools chasing for his services were USD, Fresno State, Harvard and Yale.

“Going to the Ivy Leagues is a huge opportunity for Robert,” Karlo added. “He is going to have a great athletic career, and one day run his own company.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *