Ralph Friedgen had already done the math in the offseason.
Kenny Tate was joining a glut of wide receivers. But the DeMatha product —- who was a good enough recruit to warrant the “making-a-college-choice-on-live-TV” treatment —- could also play safety.
And let’s be serious: The Terrapins weren’t exactly stacked at the position.
The Terps have senior Jeff Allen, who has never started, at strong safety, and he’s backed up by senior walk-on Drew Robinson. Converted wideout Terrell Skinner and Southern Cal transfer Antwine Perez are atop the free safety depth chart. Dominique Herald, who is suspended for the first game, figures to fit in somewhere when he comes back.
Still, it’s not a ton of depth, and it made it worth asking just how good a chance Tate had of playing this year.
“I wouldn’t have moved him there if I didn’t think that,” Friedgen said. “I don’t know that. I’m just looking at his talent. I watched him play there in high school and he played well there.”
But will he play well there with the Terps? And this year? No one can be certain of the first answer, but Friedgen has a pretty good plan as he searches for the second one.
“I can tell you this: If he’s not going to contribute over there, he’s coming back to offense,” Friedgen said. “I didn’t put him over there not to play.”
—- Patrick Stevens