GREENSBORO, N.C. | Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate missed the final two months last season with a right knee injury and eventually received a medical hardship.
As he’s worked his way back for what has become his second senior season this summer, he’s already reminding teammates of the guy who was one of the ACC’s top defensive players in 2010.
“He’s already talking trash,” wide receiver Kevin Dorsey said Sunday at the ACC Kickoff event. “He’s been out there maybe two weeks. He still has the knowledge and skillset. I just want to see him come out and be the way he was before.”
That would be a significant boost to the Terrapins, who went 2-10 last year. It was just as forgettable a season for Tate, who was moved to linebacker after a 100-tackle season as a safety.
Tate had 35 tackles in four games, but did not make nearly the same impact last year. Defensive end Joe Vellano believes that will change this season, which begins Sept. 1 against William & Mary.
“You can tell Kenny has come back with an attitude,” Vellano said. “He’s one of those guys that expects to play at a high level and he doesn’t like to sit on the bench. I think he’s going to have a big year.”
Tate is listed atop the preseason depth chart at Maryland’s strong-side linebacker position, where he will compete with sophomore Alex Twine during camp. Dorsey said Tate recently told him he was at about 90 percent as the Terrapins close in on the start of camp Aug. 6.
“He’s fighting back,” Dorsey said. “He’s been coming along pretty well. He’s been able to complete all the workouts he’s been in without any pain to his knee. I think he’s going to have a pretty good year.”
—- Patrick Stevens