John Tate, Jr., will be a junior at Pine Bluff High School and is a two-way standout – defensive end and tight end – for the Zebras. But he could become a basketball standout as well. He was measured at 6-foot-5 during the team's physicals last week.
"His game is coming along," said father John Tate, Sr., who ranks third on the A-State career scoring list with 1,776 points and eighth on the rebound list with 821, four in blocked shots and fifth in career field goal percentage.
The younger Tate is still growing according to his father and is developing a reputation as one of the better all-around athletes to come out of Pine Bluff, a city noted for having turned out some impressive athletes. The older Tate became a permanent part of Natural State sports history in the iconic photo of the tip-off of the Arkansas - Arkansas State NIT game.
Speed to burn:
Here are some of the more impressive 40 times – RB Justin Bailey of Mayflower, 4.35, DB-WR Brushawn Hunter of Bryant 4.37, RB Romar Reades of Pine Bluff 4.41, LB Parker Witt of Dardanelle 4.55, DL Immanuel Turner of Magnolia 4.78, DB Brendan Young of Bryant 4,41.
NLR's K.J. Hill and D.J. Brown were in attendance but not participating. Both have A-State offers along with some BCS. Hill is one of the top prospects in the country.
Red Wolves offers
Players in attendance who have offers from A-State, Cameron Murray of Bryant, John Tate of Pine Bluff.
Blake Anderson speaks
It was a good turnout. We thought anywhere from 30 to 60 kids and we had in the mid-40 range. The weather turned out great and the kids worked hard for us. We got a chance to look at some guys we really needed to look at in person. All-in-all it was successful. Nobody got hurt and we got a chance to look at some guys that will helps us, watch them play, and watch them over the course of the rest of the summer. We will probably get some of these guys back on campus late in July.
Everybody, regardless of where they were coming into the camp, had a chance to be evaluated. A lot of them we have never seen before. We've watched tape on guys but seeing guys in person, getting an idea about their personality, that is important. It just helps you feel better about them. Sometimes it raises questions but I am sure it sometimes raises questions for them too. They are getting to know us for the first time too. I think it is important for both sides of the equation to get a chance to see how we coach, how they respond when you teach them something. Do they respond the next rep and try to get better at it, how they respond to competition, how they respond when things don't go well. It just builds more and more of a relationship and recruiting is about building relationships.
"It has been productive. We have seen probably 300 to 350 prospects to this point. We still have a week left and camps both on our campus and Texarkana, Springdale and Dallas. We've got a lot of work left to do. I would like to think we have another 300 or so to see. If we can see anywhere from 500 to 700 prospects then that is worth the travel and the time and it helps us.
You never know. You don't know what else is going on in the area. If there are other camps going on around the area. Typically, like in Birmingham and Mobile, we had in the 120 range. We would be happy with 20 but if we had 120 that would be great too. That is a handful of guys leaving with an Arkansas State logo on their shirt, that has met our staff, been around us and there are some guys we have gotten to evaluate in person. It doesn't matter the number but it is great when you have 80 or 90 guys it helps the atmosphere and you get to see a lot of people.
We have not seen everybody yet but what we have seen has been good. I think we have done a good job of evaluating the guys on film. We have gotten out of it what we expected. We have got 2 more camps at home and 2 more camps in the state so hopefully we can come back a week from now and we will have seen the buys we have targeted and needed to get in person with. We really won't know until they show up."
The staff hosts this weekend for younger players. There is also another Elite Camp on campus today. Sunday they hit Springdale. On Tuesday they are in Texarkana and hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area for two camps the next day.
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