Sports

SK's Tucker leaving Eastern for California junior college

Stephen Tucker will transfer to a community college in California. - File photo
Stephen Tucker will transfer to a community college in California.
— image credit: File photo

South Kitsap High School graduate Stephen Tucker has decided to continue his football career at a junior college.

Tucker didn’t suit up for Eastern Washington University last season, where he was enrolled as a part-time student, which means he still has five years to play four seasons at his next college.

He said he elected to transfer because of issues with financial aid and significant tuition increases in the state’s university system. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Tucker was a non-scholarship athlete for the Eagles.

Tucker, who rushed for 1,329 yards and 14 touchdowns on 187 carries for the Wolves in 2007, said he will continue to play running back at the collegiate level.

He plans to transfer to a California junior college — Butte, Fresno City or Laney — to play next season. Tucker said some off-the-field issues at Eastern also were a contributing factor in his decision to leave. He served five days in jail and was given 24 months probation for third-degree theft and third-degree possession of stolen property, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper.

Tucker said he “probably could’ve discussed” the situation with athletic director Bill Chaves. But he felt the spread offense installed by coach Beau Baldwin wasn’t best suited to his skills.

He still is training in Cheney with former Eastern running back Dale Morris. Tucker said the weather, which has reached 100 degrees, is conducive to the transition he will make to California.

Tucker, who hopes to earn a communications degree, said is looking to play at a four-year university after junior college.

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