Lawrence Academy in Groton, Ma isn’t a regular stop for college coaches on the recruiting trail by any stretch. However, the private school boasted one talented football prospect who, before his senior season, was better known for his exploits on the basketball court.
However, as luck would have it, a former Wolfpacker spotted defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop and felt like he was a player NC State needed to know about. That move would pave the way for one of the Wolfpack’s recent commitments.
“One of our coaches that worked with us, Perry Williams, he went to NC State,” Cato-Bishop told Pack Pride in a recent interview. “That’s how everything got put together. Coach Williams came down and worked with us a few times and was at our camp we had over the summer. He worked with us a few times during the season and felt like I was good enough to play on that level so he made a few calls.
“So my recruiter, coach Petercuskie (NC State special team’s coach and recruiting coordinator), came to one of my games and saw me play. He thought I was a good player and had a lot of talent. He just told me I needed to play hard on every play. After that, we kept in touch and built a relationship. After that, I went down there for my visit and really liked it.”
Another factor that kept some recruiters away was Cato-Bishop’s love for basketball. Through his senior season he earned several smaller school offers for hoops. It wasn’t until he made the decision to pursue football full time that his recruiting began to clear up.
“I think that since not a lot of coaches came through here plus I didn’t have my mind made up whether I wanted to play football or basketball had something to do with not a lot of schools noticing me,” he said. “It was just figuring out what I wanted to do and what sport I wanted to play in the future. Once I did that, by Perry being there, it made everything easier.”
Cato-Bishop made his official visit to NC State nearly two weekends ago and that trip sealed the deal on his collegiate future. He chose the Pack over an offer from Boston College but the decision wasn’t a difficult one after seeing what State had to offer.
“Going down there and hanging with the guys and seeing the facilities and seeing how the coaches interact with the players really sold me on State,” he said. “Coach O’Brien is a good guy. He’s down to earth. He’s real relaxed and that made it kind of easy.
“Plus, all the players made it good too because they talked about how State’s coming up and it’s a good spot to be so that made it kind of easy.”
At 6-4, 250 pounds, it’s easy to see on film why State thought so highly of Cato-Bishop’s potential. He has above average athleticism which has been aided by his work on the basketball court. This really shows up when at tight end. Cato-Bishop has good hands and shows good footwork.
At defensive end, he is explosive off the edge and you can see the agility and quickness that will help him blossom once in college.
Once he gets to State, Cato-Bishop may play either defensive end or tight end. He said position isn’t important as he’ll play where ever the coaches feel him best suited.
“State has told me I could play either defensive end or tight end. I like defense more but whatever position the coaches put me at, that’s where I’m going to play.”
Cato-Bishop is waiting on a qualifying SAT score and plans to major in Business.
COACH QUOTE: "Darryl is a very dynamic player who plays the game with a lot of passion. He is a hard-nosed football player who had outstanding physical attributes. On the field he is extremely intense and plays hard every snap, but off the field he is a true gentleman." -- Lawrence Academy Head Coach Mike Taylor
SCOUTING REPORT: "Spotting Cato-Bishop isn't difficult when scouting his film. At 6-4 and 250 pounds, he's easily the largest player in every clip and is dominant whether it be on offense at tight end or coming off the edge at defensive end.
"Cato-Bishop has a D-1 ready frame but what stands out is his above average athleticism and quickness. Even at his size, he doesn't show stiffness when he runs. He moves fluidly and displays solid quickness. Cato-Bishop is somewhat similar to former Wolfpack recruit Dwayne Allen that ultimately signed with Clemson last year.
"While the level of talent he faces isn't the best, Cato-Bishop's potential is obvious after watching just a few plays. He really excels coming off the edge and with his size and burst, has the makings of a very solid defensive end down the road." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
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