Shining Knight: Crusader’s LB Caleb Tate Has Unrelenting Motor

“Caleb is hard working kid, smart and dedicated to the game, can play anywhere on the field; an overall hell of a player…” ~Head Coach Jeris McIntyre, Tampa Catholic Crusaders.

Tampa, October 30, 2018- Tampa Catholic’s 6’1” 190-pound student athlete and star-studded outside linebacker, Caleb Tate is THE senior disruptor residing in the Green and white’s defensive backfield. Follow me, if you will, as we take a BCP inside look into the University at Buffalo commit blowing the top off national averages and writing the everlasting pages to his Crusader career.   

“He’s an intense all-around athlete- you know he’s going to be where he’s supposed to be to help the football team in any certain situation. As far as utilization goes, tough yards in between tackles we can use him, on special teams taking back and blocking kicks, come off the edge and blitzing- does whatever need be for us,” Head Coach McIntyre concisely stated.   

ATH [designates an “Athlete”]: A person who is extremely athletically gifted and can fit in many roles for the team- Caleb indeed encompasses what it means to be well-rounded. The three star AND three-way position athlete possesses excellent field perception rushing the rock, bobbing and weaving in traffic. Tate stretches his gridiron talents to the opposite side of the ball as well as he’s heavily involved within the front 7, prospering in the stat category at his respected linebacker and safety duties.

“Growing up during middle school I played running back so I looked up to guys like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. But now, since I play defense I look up more to guys like Jamal Adams. My best High School moment would probably be during my freshman year when I ran for a 70-yard TD. In my spare time, I like fish and hang out with friends and one thing that might surprise people would probably be my hair; got a blonde Mohawk kind of like Odell [Beckham Jr], I’ve been growing it out for about 2 years now,” says Tate.

With a vast amount of film to dissect from, we can also gather that his defensive back-esque speed and shifty maneuvering (pretty impressive for his build) takes his abilities the extra mile in coverage schemes and in stuffing the run; not overlooking his ball carrier capabilities of course, shedding and dragging would-be tacklers across the pylons!  

Caleb Tate breaking into the open field versus Robinson. Photo by Mary Holt

“Buffalo likes him a lot as an outside backer and as safety help. He’s gotten bigger and stronger in every aspect progressing from last season, also enhancing his football IQ.” HC McIntyre goes on to say.     

“I narrowed the offer list down to Buffalo because they were showing me the most love. A UB coach was calling me every week, telling me they really liked me and said I’m a great fit to their program; they’re a winning program at 8-1 so far and have a great team with great coaches.

I also have family that live in Erie, PA which is only an hour from there, so I’ll be taking a lot of trips back to visit.” the linebacker exclaims intuitively. 

Tate plays every snap like it’s his last, suiting up in his final campaign to amass 59 total tackles, 41 solo, 8 TFLs, 2 sacks, 18 sack yards lost, 7 QB hurries, 3 fumble recoveries and 1 caused fumble for a TD, (stretching my hands) 4 interceptions- 2 of those are pic-sixes, brought a punt return to the house, AND has 180 yards rushing on 22 carries, averaging 8.2 YPC, collecting 2 offensive scores- with one game left in the regular season!

Caleb Tate rushing the ball versus Robinson
Photo by Mary Holt

The Crusaders are 7-2 this 2018-19 season, ranking 90th in the state- thriving with a less than full-fledged 47-man roster. Without a doubt Caleb has been lights out- both in TC’s scoreboard efforts and defensive stand labors.

Caleb concludes, “This week being my last regular season home game, I’m really focused on watching film and going hard in practice. Inspiring and pushing by teammates to be great because I know Friday there’s going to be tons of people out there and I want to put on a show. It’s going to be a good game though- tough, physical. Trying to end this so called ‘streak’.

The most physical and disciplined team will come out with the W.”

Tampa Catholic and Tate went home superior, after stunning Belleview 35-0 on the road last week; improving their away record to a seamless 4-0. In these Friday Night Lights, Caleb and the Crusaders will battle rival Tampa school foe, Jesuit Tigers in a non-conference game with home-field advantage at 7:00p. 

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor