MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's offense knows whom to watch on Maryland's defense Saturday.
The Mountaineers just don't know where they'll find Kenny Tate from one down to the next.
"They move him around a bunch," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "He's a guy we've got to keep an eye on. It's not something where we look to avoid him. We're going to run our offense based on specific leverage and numbers more than we are people.
"That's just always the way it's been, regardless of who the players is, but clearly he's a good player with a lot of experience and more than likely, he's going to be playing for a long time."
Tate, a senior from Forestville, Md., and DeMatha Catholic High, came to campus as a wide receiver. He played strong safety his first two seasons and was a consensus first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick last season as Maryland's free safety. He had 100 tackles and a conference-best four forced fumbles.
Now the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Tate - the same size as Norfolk State receiver Xavier Boyce, who had eight receptions for 100 yards against WVU last week - starts at the "star" linebacker position for the Terrapins (1-0).
Yet he'll also play a little cornerback. And safety. And defensive end. He did all of that while making 11 tackles and intercepting a pass in the season-opening win against Miami.
He says he can play defensive tackle in pass rush situations, just like he did last year.
"You never know where I'm going to line up," Tate said. "I don't know how you game plan for a person when you don't really know where I'm going to be. I feel like that's definitely an advantage there. When an offense knows where someone's going to line up, they have plays they usually run for that formation. If you don't know where a person is going to line up, you don't know what to look for."
Tate made seven tackles against the Mountaineers last year and intercepted a Jock Sanders trick pass and returned it 53 yards. Last season he was the first Maryland defensive back to have 100 tackles since 2000 and he entered the NFL Draft, but decided to return to Maryland and get his degree.
After a coaching change brought former Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall to campus, Tate was moved to be next in line of the school's linebackers like E.J. Henderson, D'Qwell Jackson, Erin Henderson and Alex Wujciak.
The star position is a hybrid spot that allows him to play as a linebacker and a safety by taking advantage of his size, strength and speed. Tate was regarded as one of the 20 best high school receivers in 2007 and turned down more than 100 scholarship offers to sign with the Terrapins in February 2008.
Maryland had a crowd at receiver - including NFL players Darrius Heyward-Bey and Torrey Smith - and Coach Ralph Friedgen decided Tate was too good to redshirt when he could help elsewhere.
"I came in in the summer and was playing receiver all summer, but there was a rumor going around I was moving to defense," Tate said. "Camp started and Coach (Ralph) Friedgen told me we were short on safeties and asked if I was willing to move over to safety.