Now we know for sure that Maryland football safety Kenny Tate will return for his senior season. The 2011 NFL Draft early-entry list was released today, and Tate's name was not on it. Via SBNation.com, 56 other names were there, but not Tate's.
This news backs up a report on Tuesday that Tate would return for his senior season. Some initial rumors suggested that he would forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the draft, but that was shot down yesterday.
It's important news for Maryland because Tate was one of the keys to its defense last season. SB Nation's Maryland blog Testudo Times believes Tate should be one of the frontrunners for the Thorpe Award next season.
His physicality and natural athleticism stand out at the position, but so does his playmaking ability. He seems to always be around the ball and always making something happen. He was a big part of this year's turnover-forcing defense, and things should only improve next year. It will, after all, be Don Brown's third with the current players.