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RB Cameron Tuckett could give Weber State needed boost

Published September 21, 2012 4:37 pm

Idaho native was explosive at end of 2011 season.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ogden • One solution to Weber State's offensive woes would be to have an individual breakout performance Saturday against Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.

The Wildcats could use another effort in the style of Cameron J. Tuckett, known as C.J. to his friends, who came off the bench to put together a record-breaking final two games of the 2011 season.

Weber State averages fewer than 15 points and has yet to score a touchdown in the first half. The Wildcats have not approached the level of their season-ending offensive explosion, one that included 455 rushing yards and eight touchdowns from Tuckett.

"Honestly, we've made too many mental errors here and there," Tuckett said. "We made drives, but haven't been able to sustain them."

After rarely playing through the first nine games of 2011 — he had 37 carries for 197 yards — Tuckett got his chance due to teammates' injuries and fumbles. His 407 all-purpose yards against Northern Arizona set a school record, as did his five touchdowns in the season-ender at Portland State.

Most of Tuckett's yardage came between the tackles, plowing his way with his 6-foot, thick-legged 200-pound body. This season the Raft River (Idaho) graduate averages 4.3 yards a carry.

"He has a good instincts finding the cracks, the hole, finding that seam you need," Weber State coach Jody Sears said.

Tuckett, who originally walked on at WSU following a two-year mission for the LDS Church, beat the odds. He was, at best, fourth on the Wildcats' depth chart to start 2011.

Tuckett, whose great-uncle is former BYU athletic director and baseball coach Glen Tuckett, was patient and waited his turn.

"All that rodeo, the farm life he grew up on and being tough and resilient, he's just a tough kid who isn't going to be brought down by one person," WSU offensive coordinator Matt Hammer said. "And he plays with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder with the way he had to get here."

Tuckett has now realized his dream.

"Growing up I always had a dream of playing college football," Tuckett said. "It's surreal to be here and to have this opportunity." —

Eastern Washington at Weber State

P Saturday, 6 p.m., at Stewart Stadium, Ogden

TV • None. Radio • 106.9 FM

Records • EWU 1-1, WSU 0-3. All-time series • Tied 8-8

Last meeting • EWU, 27-21 (Oct. 1, 2011)

About the Eagles • Coming off a bye week, EWU opened the season with a 20-3 win at Idaho, followed by a 24-20 loss at Washington State.

About the Wildcats • Junior wide receiver Shaydon Kehano will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right fibula against McNeese State. ... The Wildcats are 5 for 5 in scoring in the red zone, with all five scores being touchdowns. ... WSU has only three first-half points this season.