DeKALB – Explosive with the ball, Toriano Tate also is an excellent blocker when his teammates are carrying the ball.
The DeKalb senior wide receiver may get the chance to hit a lot more, as Tate and coach Derek Schneeman are talking about adding snaps at defensive back for the Barbs’ standout.
“When I play defense, I’m a big hitter,” Tate said. “You can tell by, on the offensive side, when I’m blocking guys, I can really hit. Once I get on the defensive side, it’s going to get way worse.”
Schneeman, the interim coach who will take over as head coach pending approval in Tuesday’s DeKalb School District 428 Board meeting, said Tate has too much talent to not get on the field as much as possible.
“Not only is it best for us – we have to put the best 11 on the field – but also for him, there’s a chance he can be playing defensively in college,” Schneeman said. “To get him experience on that side of the ball is good in that regard as well.”
Tate has six offers to play at NCAA Division I schools: South Dakota State, North Dakota, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa, Valparaiso and Holy Cross.
Tate ran for 595 yards in the spring and averaged more than 7 yards a carry. He scored 11 times – five through the air, five on the ground and a 100-yard kickoff return. He was the co-offensive player of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference.
“I don’t really care about where I play. I’m just a football player,” Tate said. “Wherever they want me, I know I’ll play well. I have the size to play a safety or cornerback position, so I’m expecting it.”
Schneeman said Tate has been becoming more familiar with the positions that he will be playing in the fall, and he will be used all over the field.
He also said the spring 2021 season, in which the Barbs were 1-2 on the field, was good for Tate to get some playing time after missing his sophomore campaign.
And whether he is at cornerback or safety, Tate said he is looking forward to the chance to play defense.
“I have no problem with that,” Tate said. “I’m a whole different person on defense. I’m going to turn some heads this year.”