W.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C., has a well-earned reputation for producing big-time secondary talent.
Currently, the school located just East of the White House and the U.S. Capital building has three defensive backs on National Football League rosters. They include eight-year veteran safety Tavon Wilson with the Detroit Lions, fourth-year cornerback Ken Crawley of the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans’ free-agent rookie cornerback D’Andre Payne.
If that wasn’t enough to claim a prominent secondary pedigree, alum DuWayne Johnson is a cornerback at Syracuse and the current Warriors’ roster features cornerback-safety Ke’Von Hunter, who has already accumulated 17 Football Bowl Subdivision offers.
So, it was no surprise with a major need for secondary prospects in the recruiting Class of 2020 that East Carolina turned its focus to Woodson for help.
The time investment of ECU assistants Fontel Mines, Brandon Lynch and Byron Thweatt at Woodson paid double dividends for the Pirates in late June as they secured verbal commitments from two stellar players from the Warriors’ secondary for the recruiting Class of 2020.
Cornerback Sean Tucker gave his pledge to ECU on June 23 and 24 hours later his Woodson secondary mate, safety Teylor Jackson, did the same.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Tucker is a three-star prospect, according to both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com, and is ranked the No. 10 prospect in the District of Columbia by 247. Tucker also entertained scholarship offers from ECU’s American Athletic Conference rivals Cincinnati and Temple, Big Ten clubs Indiana and Wisconsin, West Virginia of the Big 12 and Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference, plus Kent State, Massachusetts and Toledo.
Jackson is a three-star prospect in the 247 ratings and the No. 13 prospect in the D.C. area. The 6-1, 210-pounder received offers from Air Force, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Massachusetts, Morgan State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Toledo and West Virginia before choosing the Pirates.
Woodson head coach Greg Fuller gives credit to a former Warrior secondary star.
“Brandon Dow, our defensive coordinator, has played a big role in developing great defensive backs in our program,” Fuller said. “We have those three in the NFL right now, and these two guys (Tucker and Jackson) fit in that realm of playing.”
Tucker is a Woodson legacy, following in the footsteps of his father, Don Hursey, who played for the Warriors, as did his cousin, former Colorado defensive back Sherrard Harrington.
Tucker made the Woodson varsity as a freshman, but saw most of his action at wide receiver. Fuller said Tucker developed rapidly from there through simple hard work.
“He is a responsible young man who has worked hard in the weight room and in the classroom,” Fuller said. “He had some duties here and there as a freshman, but we had a lot of seniors in front of him. We used him initially at wide receiver, but his corner skills were very good. He can cover, apply pressure, has the footwork and is a ballhawk. He just makes plays consistently for us. His goal has always been to play at the next level, so he did the work to achieve that goal.”
Jackson originally attended Dunbar High in Baltimore, but transferred to Woodson as a tenth grader. He wasn’t eligible to play for Woodson as a sophomore due to transfer rules, but immediately made an impact last season as a starter at safety. He made 110 tackles and two interceptions as a junior.
“One of our coaches was aware of him,” Fuller said. “He didn’t play as a 10th grader, but he still got out on his own and did a lot of things. On his own he started going to a certified fitness instructor to develop his body.”
Fuller is expected to add some more talent to his secondary to join Tucker and Jackson in 2019. Arthur White, a 6-1, 183-pounder, will be joining Woodson from DeMatha High and 5-9, 183-pound Reginald Proctor, a cornerback, is arriving from St. Francis Academy in Baltimore.
“They’ll be two more good secondary players to help Sean and Teylor,” Fuller said.