MANY, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Many’s Tackett Curtis was one of the nation’s most coveted defensive recruits. Key word: was. Curtis announced his commitment the University of Southern California earlier this week. For Curtis, it was the involvement of the Trojans’ new head coach in his recruitment that really sold him.

“Coach (Lincoln) Riley and I had a great relationship when he was at Oklahoma,” said Curtis. “Then when he went to USC, he really started getting on me. He loves me.”

Tigers’ Head Coach Jess Curtis was encouraged by Coach Riley’s involvement in Tackett’s recruitment and believes in the vision the coach has for his star safety/nephew.

“We were really impressed with how involved Coach Riley was in the recruitment process, it sold how bad they wanted him,” said Coach Curtis. “He sees Tackett as their middle linebacker, calling the defense, leading that side of the ball.”

The Trojans move to the Big Ten Conference couldn’t have come at a better time for the Tigers’ safety. Tackett’s favorite conference is the Big Ten and he explained why.

“It’s the style of football they play,” said Curtis. “I’ve loved the Big Ten since I was a kid and the opportunity to play those caliber of teams in a couple of years was too good to pass up.”

From Many, Louisiana, to Los Angeles, California, the opportunity to be in a new environment is just an added bonus for Tackett.

“It’s going to be different playing in the Coliseum and living in Los Angeles,” said Curtis. “But to get in that arena in front of those fans, it’s going to be an amazing experience.”