|David Tate of Edison High verbally committed to UNLV on Sunday, Jan. 17, emerging as the latest Tiger to go the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision route (photo contributed).|
David Tate of Edison High in Fresno sees a lot of similarities between his former football coach Matt Johnson and UNLV’s Tony Sanchez, which was one of the top reasons why the 3-star linebacker verbally committed to the Rebels on Sunday, Jan. 17.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defender said his interactions with Sanchez and his staff made him feel at ease with choosing UNLV over scholarship offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State and Utah State.
“I knew UNLV was the place for me when I first talked to coach Sanchez about how I would fit in. He said ‘You'll fit in great. You can help rebuild this era we have at UNLV.’ And that's what I want to do,” Tate said.
The Class of 2016 prospect, who punished running backs and covered wide receivers from his outside linebacker spot for the Tigers, said playing for Johnson helped turn him into a man and adds that Sanchez has a similar personality.
“Edison is a school where you can compete on and off the field. Our head coach Matty J is a great man. He turns boys into men just like he did with me and I see that in coach Sanchez. He’s another Matty J,” Tate said.
He’s not the only star from the 559 to verbally join the Rebels. Charles Williams of nearby Bullard High, who played club 7-on-7 football with Tate during the offseason, is committed to UNLV.
Tate said Williams did have a slight impact on his decision to join the Rebels, but stated “It was more than just him. The coaching staff, by itself, is great.”
UNLV plans to utilize Tate in multiple linebacker positions, he said. He’s also keeping this tradition alive in Fresno’s west side: Tiger players who have moved on to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. The list includes Rykeem Yates (Nevada), Ickey Woods (Cincinnati Bengals), T.J. McDonald (Los Angeles Rams) and Tyrone Smith (Utah).
“It's a great feeling following the footsteps of greats like Tim McDonald and even the young ones like Tyler Horton (Boise State),” Tate said.