Junior update: Waco WR Tory Degrate

After providing a couple of reports on Waco's shutdown corner <B>Marcus Walker</b>, IT turns its focus to Walker's Lion teammate <B>Tory Degrate</b>, a standout wide receiver prospect who will also be heavily recruited.

According to Waco high's head coach Johnny Tusa, Degrate is 6-0, 170 pounds with a 4.5 forty.

When asked for any weight room numbers, Tusa said, "He can bench 220 and squat 400 pounds."

As a sophomore, Degrate caught 32 passes for 468 yards (14.6 ypc) and crossed the goalline six times with a long of 67 yards. He also notched 20 carries for 227 yards and scored three TDs with his longest run from scrimmage going for 55 yards.

The Waco standout was utilized more at receiver (his projected position on the next level) and less as a tailback during his junior campaign. Stats: 41 grabs, 716 yards (17.5 ypc) and 10 TDs; 11 rushing attempts, 88 yards.

"He's got excellent field awareness and knows how to get open," Waco High's head man told IT. "And he knows where he's at on the field. And if you're (the defender) not on him, he makes the first man miss pretty easily."

How 'bout them hands?

"Tory's got really good hands," Tusa said. "He's got the softest pair of hands you've ever seen."

That's not all Degrate displays while on the field. Also a dangerous kick returner, the Texas prep tallied 444 yards on 22 returns (20 yds per KR), with a long of 69 yards that resulted in a TD. That was as a sophomore. Opponents caught on fast and Degrate was limited to only 10 touches for almost 200 return yards during his junior campaign.

Looking for another way to take advantage of Degrate's open-field abilities and propensity to avoid would-be tacklers, his coach may elect to put him back on punt returns as well.

"I think Coach Tusa is going to move me to full-time punt return (duties) this year," Degrate said. "I had a few punt returns last year but will probably be the guy this year."

"Tory's also on the "kick" team," Tusa said. "He's the contain man/wide-man."

"Coach won't hesitate to put me on the "punt" team either if the team we're playing has a good returner," Degrate told IT.

Accolades: Tusa said Degrate was a 2nd-team all-district selection at wideout as a sophomore. As a junior he grabbed 1st-team all-district honors while also breaking in as a 2nd-team choice for the Super Centex Team.

Schools in pursuit: Colorado, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan, Texas A&M, Texas, TCU, Wisconsin, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, La. Tech, LSU and Purdue.

Degrate gave IT a look at his early top five:

Texas, A&M, OU, FSU and Michigan, although the last three were more of a formality at this point.

He's presently looking harder at two schools in particular: Texas and A&M.

Degrate claims no scholarship offers at this point.

Look for more on Degrate in the next edition of the Inside Scoop.

[Note from Stacey: Apologize for the small hiatus taken from covering the senior-to-be prospects, but it's all systems go again. Thanks for being patient.]

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