Cop dad helps rookie DB walk proper line

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

Growing up, it was easy for Davanzo Tate to stay on the straight and narrow.

He basically had no other choice.

With his father being a police officer and then a corrections officer, the youngster didn't get too far out of line or he'd face the wrath.

"Oh yeah, he was a disciplinarian," said the Calgary Stampeders defensive back.

"I was fortunate in how I was brought up that I wasn't more prone to being in bad situations."

It has seemed to helped Tate get to where he is now. The rookie has won a starting job in the Stampeders' secondary at halfback, thanks in part to injuries.

He isn't the only rookie starting in the defensive backfield.

It appears Ronnie Amadi will play the other halfback spot.

Brandon Smith (knee) is out due to injury, but the rookie duo has earned the spot ahead of veteran J.R. Ruffin, who has a chronic knee injury but is still on the active roster.

"This is more than I expected," Tate said. "I came in just trying to be a sponge.

"I didn't want to set too high of expectations. I'm just trying to learn the system and the schemes. I knew they had a lot of veterans coming back."

After Tate had a brief stint with the NFL's New York Giants last season following his graduation from the University of Akron, he took a job at a juvenile detention centre in Youngstown, Ohio.

He was somewhat following in his father's footsteps, and he could easily see how a wrong step could derail many teenagers.

"Every kid has a story," Tate said.

"It wasn't as bad as a lot of people would think. I had a pretty good experience.

"I learned a lot and they were able to learn a lot from me."


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