Colleges are evaluating football prospects earlier every year. DeMatha head coach Bill McGregor is already gathering piles of mail for Kenny Tate (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) and he has already received one major scholarship offer for Tate.
"As soon as you tell everyone that Ohio State has offered, everything will just snowball," coach McGregor said of the recruiting attention Tate has received. "USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, all the ACC and Big East teams are after him. He'll be a national recruit.
"Notre Dame has asked about him. He doesn't have an offer from Notre Dame yet, but my gut says that they'll offer, but you never know. They're going to evaluate his film. I know Peter Vaas from when he was at Notre Dame before. He recruited John Taliaferro who ended up going to Notre Dame. Peter is going to be recruiting Kenny as well.
"I had a player John Owens that played there," McGregor said of the former Irish tight end. "I went out and saw a game John played there his senior year. I had another boy, Ryan Gillis that was there about the same time."
With the early attention kids receive from colleges it is very easy for their egos to become an issue, but McGregor has a kid that is well grounded.
"Kenny's a good kid, from a good family," coach McGregor explained. "He works hard and wherever he decides to go, he'll be a positive influence on that team. If I had a son, I'd want him to be just like Kenny. He's quite, low-key, and half the time you don't even know he's there."
Personality alone won't earn scholarship offers from the top programs. Top schools want playmakers and Tate has shown early that he has that ability.
"He brings everything you want," coach McGregor said of Tate. "He'll block at wide receiver, he'll catch, he'll hustle, and he'll run good routes. He's just a football player. We're even going to use him some as a tailback. He's a natural athlete. He's been good his entire life.
"He's a safety on defense," coach McGregor said. "We play a ‘4-3' [defense]. Sometimes we'll walk him down and put him on the edge as an outside backer, but most of the time we'll play the ‘2-high'. He's aggressive. He's everything you want. He'll hit you. He'll make plays. He can cover sideline-to-sideline. He has great lateral movement and he has a great vertical.
"That's why I think he's a no-brainer as a national recruit, because he can go on either side of the ball. It just depends on how you want to use him. I really don't take him off the field, although I started to take him off special teams. He's the type of kid you want on the field all the time. His 70 percent is better than most kid's 100 percent. A couple weeks back he took a kick-off back 88 yards for a touchdown. As a sophomore he had a ballgame where he had 12 catches for 277 yards.
"This past year we had seven DeMatha kids in NFL camps and he's that type of boy," he added.
Coach McGregor has DeMatha poised for another big season. They're currently 3-0 heading into conference play and the top team in the Washington D.C. area.