Elite 8 No. 1: Many 4-star, USC commit Tackett Curtis is part of a 'rough and rowdy' past
Many four-star linebacker Tackett Curtis comes from a long line of family members with an apparent “rough and rowdy past,” if we might borrow a description of the Soggy Bottom Boys from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
According to Curtis’ father, Many principal Moses Curtis, the family of Tackett’s great grandfather, the late Leonard O’Neal Tackett, were known to harbor two of the most famous criminals to eventually die in North Louisiana – Bonnie and Clyde.
“Papaw Tackett’s whole family is a bunch of Texas outlaws that came from Waco,” Moses Curtis said. “They grew up hard and were into the Bonnie and Clyde family. That side of the family was tied into Bonnie. They were some interesting people.”
Maybe that helps explain why Tackett Curtis was one of the most sought-after football recruits in Louisiana’s 2023 class with 46 offers before he “1,000 percent” committed to USC a couple of weeks ago. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Curtis is the No. 1 area recruit in The Times list of Elite 8 senior recruits. He’s also the No. 6 athlete in the state on the 247Sports Composite. He comes by his physicality honestly, thanks to his heritage, as well as from battling older brothers Gunner and Carson.
BEST STORY YOU'LL READ: Makhi Reed overcomes tough challenges
LSWA AWARD WINNER: Woodlawn star's life snuffed out in senseless shooting
Scattered four years apart, the Curtis brothers put on some epic battles in the front yard of their North DeSoto Estates home when they lived in Stonewall.
“Most of them ended up in fights. They were some physical games, but I definitely never took it easy on Tackett,” Carson said. “For a while growing up we were the same size, so we had some pretty even matchups. But as I got into high school, I was a good size bigger. Even then, we had some good battles, because what he lacked in size he made up for in physicality and speed. I think he found any advantage that he could get. Competing with each other was what we loved to do.”
The efforts to land Curtis, the country’s No. 5 linebacker, began during his freshman year and he narrowed his extensive list to three (USC, Ohio State and Wisconsin) a few weeks ago. He involved his entire family in the process from his brothers, little sister, mother and uncle Jess Curtis, the Many football coach. USC wasn’t the top choice for Tackett’s mom, Leslie Curtis, a Many pharmacist.
“She’s all about education and Leslie liked Stanford the most,” Moses said. “Mine and Tackett’s thinking were along the same lines. Tackett really believes USC is going to be climbing the mountain while he’s there.”
Curtis has already led the Tigers to one LHSAA Class 2A state title (2020) and to the state championship game last season. He’ll be the team’s quarterback this fall in addition to running the defense. But he’s a "workout-aholic" spending more time in the weight room than most teenagers spend texting. When he isn’t working out, he’s eating, sleeping or playing "Fortnite" or "Apex Legends" against his brothers.
“Tackett is a pretty boring guy,” Moses said.
Papaw Tackett was the first on his side of the family to attend, and to graduate, from college. He earned a doctorate as a chiropractor, built a car from scratch and could fly an airplane. His great-grandson, and namesake, hits like a Mack truck, has made just one “B” in 11 years of school and will earn a degree from one of the top universities in the country.
Sometimes the apple not falling far from the tree is a good thing.
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.