Rummel displays aerial game in 48-0 win over Covington _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- Rummel's Israel Tucker runs the ball against Covington on Sept. 12 at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie.

Seventeen months ago, Israel Tucker’s football future was up in the air.

A torn ACL ended the Rummel running back’s senior during the jamboree, ending a promising campaign before it could even begin.

However, Tucker’s resiliency led a bounce-back senior season, an appearance in the Division I state championship and, now, a future in college football.

Tucker committed to Louisiana Tech after an official visit to Ruston, a decision he said was an instant match.

“When I was up there, I met different recruits and players who said they loved it,” Tucker said. “Everyone up there is friendly and welcoming. They have nice facilities. They are also top in academics. They are a tier-one school, which is big in the future. It also felt like a home to me. It’s just a great place all around.”

Tucker entered the weekend committed to Stephen F. Austin but was still compelled to visit Louisiana Tech.

That intuition paid off for the 5-foot-9, 185-pound workhorse, who could not resist how he fit in both on and off the field with the Bulldogs.

“I mean, I was with Stephen F. Austin, and I wanted to take visit to Louisiana Tech,” Tucker said. “I knew they were a high academic school, and they were in a higher division, so I had to make sure I wasn’t passing up on anything.”

“At Tech, they really use their backs a lot and for different things,’ he continued. “They saw that I can both run the ball and catch the ball out the backfield, and that’s what they try to do — get their running backs the ball in space. That’s why I’m a great fit for their offense.”

Tucker selected Louisiana Tech over Stephen F. Austin and Louisiana-Monroe.

From the time on the ground grabbing at his knee to signing his letter of intent on Feb. 3, Tucker can’t help but look back at his journey with a smile.

“It’s a great feeling,” Tucker said. “God has had a plan from the beginning, and I’m just truly blessed.”