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. Entering his senior year at Clemson, Tate is a starting defensive tackle who has seen his playing increase significantly the last two years.
Tate saw action in all 13 games in 2003, getting in on 281 total plays. He finished the season with 25 total tackles, including two for loss and one sack. Last year, the Gaffney native doubled his playing time, getting in on 496 snaps and recording 34 total tackles, including two sacks.
Tate, who is entering his last year at Clemson, is currently listed as a first-team defensive tackle, ahead of Chris McDuffie and Rashaad Jackson on the depth chart.
Tate was named the most improved defensive tackle of spring practice in 2004 and claimed one of the starting defensive tackle positions after the Tigers lost DeJuan Polk and Donnell Washington to graduation.
New defensive coordinator Vic Koenning made the following comments about his defensive line just a few weeks after spring practice: "We need to get Dorell Scott moved up and ready to go. Trey Tate has got to be better. We've got some room to grow. Even (Cory) Groover and all those guys. Too many things that we've got to do better. We've got to establish depth at both end positions and I think that is a huge concern, a huge concern."
At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, he's not the biggest defensive tackle on the roster, but he does have three years of experience under his belt, and he's also become more of a vocal leader up front. Nevertheless, underclassman Chris McDuffie will push Tate hard this year. McDuffie is bigger and could potentially offer the Clemson defense more of an upside in Coach Koenning's defensive scheme.
Trey Tate accepts his Most Improved Award during halftime of the 2004 Orange & White game.