"I can't wait to graduate," he said. "That means a lot to me, to get my degree. I'll be doing that here soon.
"Coach Petercuskie said that I head down to NC State on June 28th. I'm ready to get down there because I feel I think I'm ready and mature enough to go college."
Cato-Bishop has stayed in constant contact with Wolfpack recruiting coordinator Jerry Petercuskie. Petercuskie recruited him to NC State.
"I talked to coach Petercuskie a week or so ago," said Cato-Bishop. "He was up here visiting schools and I spoke with him. It went good. We just talked about me going down to training camp, and the workouts I'm doing... stuff like that."
|"Darryl is a very dynamic player."|
However, at 6-4 and 255 pounds, Cato-Bishop was a star at fullback, tight end, and defensive end for Lawrence Academy and helped lead them to an impressive 7-1 record in 2008.
"I was in a unique situation where I had three different football coaches who used me different ways," said Cato-Bishop. "When I was 215 pounds I played wide receiver and caught the ball a lot, but when I got bigger I moved to tight end and didn't get the ball as much. My senior year I played some tight end but was used more on defense because I could dominate there even more."
"Darryl is a very dynamic player who plays the game with a lot of passion," said Lawrence Academy Head Coach Mike Taylor. "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."
"Spotting Cato-Bishop isn't difficult when scouting his film," says Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams. "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."
The combination of size, athleticism and upside led to a scholarship offer from NC State, one Cato-Bishop accepted last December following an official visit.
"I liked it a lot," he said. "It was a big campus, a lot of people. They have great football facilities, great coaches. Earl Wolff hosted me and he was just telling me that State was coming up each year, getting better and they were going to a bowl game. He was also talking about how much they all loved coach O'Brien."
Much wasn't known about Cato-Bishop when he committed, as he had only been hearing from mainly NC State and Boston College for football. A few other schools checked in after his verbal, but he remained solid to the Wolfpack.
"My coach mainly handled all of that for me because I wasn't interested in talking with other schools," Cato-Bishop stated. "I know Syracuse tried to get involved... so did Miami and some others. They called and tried to talk to my coach about me.
"Basically they were saying they weren't on me earlier because they didn't think I was going to play football. I didn't really want to talk to anybody else though."
"I wasn't interested in
talking with other schools."
Cato-Bishop inked with NC State in February while finishing his basketball career for Lawrence Academy. Regarded as a mid-major hoops prospect by most recruiting analysts, Cato-Bishop indicated he still plans on walking on the Wolfpack hoops team.
"That's what I plan on doing right now," he said. "I still need to talk some more with the coaches about it, but I'm going to try and do it. I don't really know my stats from this year, but I think I averaged around 18 points and eight rebounds. I mainly play the two and the three spot."
Recently he's been working on adding muscle and flexibility to his chiseled frame. His head coach has stated that Cato-Bishop possesses a lot of natural strength but hasn't been in the weight room as much as other football players because he's so active with basketball.
However, he has been working out with Michael Morris, a former strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
"Since the spring I've been working out with Mike Morris," said Cato-Bishop. "He's a speed and strength coach who has worked in the NFL. He went to a high school up here and my coach went to school with his brother, Joe Morris who played running back for the Giants.
"It's helped me a lot because I didn't know how to run... everything I did was raw talent. I've been working on my footwork and explosiveness. We work on everything... exploding out of stances, pass rushing, stuff like that. It has really improved my agility and change of direction."
It has also helped Cato-Bishop in the weight room.
"I think I've gained a few pounds, and I'm a lot stronger," he said. "I've been lifting weights this spring, and I think I've trimmed up my body even more. I have a lot of room to get even stronger because I haven't lifted weights that long.
"It's going to help me when I'm on the field and I need to use my hands to fight off blockers. Everyone is bigger in college so I need to be as strong as I can be."
Talented enough to project as a tight end or defensive end, even Cato-Bishop doesn't know where he will end up. However, he hopes to line up at defensive end where he can rush the passer... something he loves to do.
"I talked to coach Petercuskie and he said either defensive end or tight end," said Cato-Bishop. "I just want to get on the field. I think I'll play defensive end... that's what I really want to play, but we'll see. When I was younger I wanted to be like Ben Coats but at defensive end I want to be a fast Dwight Freeney.
"The reason I want to play defensive end is I feel like I have good speed and quickness coming off the edge, and I like getting after the quarterback."
"He said that when
I play hard every single
play I'm an animal."
"I just need to work on my technique and improve on my knowledge of the game," he added. "I can always learn more moves. In my league, I could physically have my way with everybody, but it won't be like that in college so I need to keep learning moves."
Cato-Bishop hopes to play right away. In fact, he said the Wolfpack coaches haven't ruled out the possibility of him playing as a true freshman.
"When I was on my official visit Coach O'Brien said it was up to me," stated Cato-Bishop. "If I came to camp ready then I would play. If not, I'd probably redshirt.
"I remember when coach Petercuskie started recruiting me and he came to one of my games. He said that when I play hard every single play I'm an animal... a beast. He said I have all the natural talent in the world. What I'm going to try and do is go hard every play so I can see the field."
Cato-Bishop stated that he projects as a full qualifier, although he took the SAT in May "just in case" he needed it.
"We're actually working on that... getting through the clearinghouse," he said. "I took the SAT a few weeks ago and coach Petercuskie said everything should be good to go. I don't think I have to take it again... I'll be good to go and will know for sure after graduation."
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