Trey Tate was one of several players that pleasantly surprised this spring. At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, he's not the biggest defensive tackle on the roster, but he does have two years of experience under his belt, and he's also become one of the more vocal leaders of the defensive line.
Trey Tate was an all-state defensive end as a senior at Gaffney High School, and an all-area selection in both his junior and senior seasons. In 2002 Tate saw limited action; appearing in six games for 30 snaps.
Tate saw action in all 13 games last year, getting in on 281 total plays. He finished the season with 25 total tackles, including 2 for loss and 1 sack. In 2004, he'll take over as a starter now that both Donnell Washington and DeJuan Polk are out of the picture.
Tate earned high praise from head coach Tommy Bowden after several practices earlier this spring. "Trey Tate has been playing really good for us," said Bowden. "He's probably the most consistent of the interior guys for us at this point."
Tate was named the most improved defensive tackle of spring practice and is currently listed on the first team, ahead of JUCO transfer Cory Groover headed into the fall.
Tate and former Tiger Donnell Washington were involved in two costly plays during the N.C. State game a year ago. In the 17-15 loss, each was called for a personal foul for a late hit. "There is no excuse for it," Bowden said in the locker room after the game.
The interior of the defensive line wasn't the strong point of the defense this spring, and several members of the Tigers' coaching staff admitted as much after the Orange & White game. "We just haven't been good at it all spring." said defensive coordinator John Lovett. "Until we get some tackles to step and play better, it is going to be like that.
Trey Tate was one of several players that pleasantly surprised this spring. At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, he's not the biggest defensive tackle on the roster, but he does have two years of experience under his belt, and he's also become one of the more vocal leaders of the defensive line. This fall, he'll start out on the first team, but he'll be pushed hard by Cory Groover throughout the season.