With the Vols currently on their bye week, the coaching staff has had extra time on their hands to dedicate to recruiting. Friday, Tennessee’s coaches hit the road for a big weekend of recruiting. They offered several prospects, but none have been bigger than 2020 cornerback Demorie Tate.
Tate is a four-star corner from Orlando, Florida and is currently committed to Florida State. Saturday morning, he tweeted that he is “blessed to receive an offer from the University of Tennessee”
— Demorie Tate (@DemorieTate) October 6, 2018
The Florida prospect currently plays for Freedom High School. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he is the No. 194 overall prospect and No. 16 cornerback in the nation. Additionally, he is the 31st-ranked player in Florida. 247Sports’ analysis of Tate is even higher than their composite, seeing him as a top-100 player. The regular 247Sports rankings have Tate listed as the No. 88 overall player and 9th-best corner in the 2020 class.
The 6-foot-2, 189-pound athlete has been committed to the Seminoles for several months now and has referred to them as his dream school. His pledge to Florida State, however, didn’t stop the Vols from giving him his first SEC offer. Tennessee is the first school outside of the state of Florida to offer Tate, and they are only his fourth offer overall. FAU and UCF are the other two programs besides Florida State and Tennessee to offer him.
As a player, Tate is exactly the kind of corner that this coaching staff wants. He is a strong, physical player that can play at the line of scrimmage and press the opposing receiver. He is very comfortable in man coverage. Coaches will oftentimes say that the best defenders are also their team’s best offensive player. Tate fits that perfectly, as he is an electric athlete. Whether it is returning kicks, playing running back, or playing corner, he is a play-maker. Creating turnovers is a point of emphasis for the Vols’ coaching staff, and Tate is the kind of player that can do just that. He has exceptional ball skills. He is quick enough to cover faster receivers, but he’s also strong enough to guard possession guys as well.
As a sophomore, Tate ran for 499 yards and four touchdowns on just 59 carries and caught a 60-yard touchdown as well according to MaxPreps. On defense, he totaled 13 tackles and broke up a pass.
It will be a tough flip from Florida State for the Vols, but there is still plenty of time with him being a class of 2020 player. The Seminoles haven’t quite looked to be headed in the right direction early in Willie Taggart’s tenure, so it will be interesting to see if that affects Tate’s recruitment. The next step for Pruitt and the Vols needs to be getting Tate on campus.