TAMPA – Jesuit wide receiver Kendrick Torain put himself on the map with his first career touchdown this past season. The rising junior is set to start at wide receiver and as a cornerback for the Tigers in 2016.
The 6’2″, 170-pound Torain has already put on 10 lbs. of muscle since the end of last season and is looking to add 10 more before this summer.
He finished as the team’s second leading receiver with 285 yards on 28 receptions and a touchdown just 10 yards behind senior Rey Riveros. After getting his first real taste of high school ball as a sophomore, Torain says he’s aiming to have multiple touchdowns and over 1,000 yards receiving this year.
The class of 2018 graduate earned his first offer from Bowling Green on Monday. He has also generated interest from Toledo, Boston College and North Carolina State.
Lining up on both sides of the ball is something that Torain believes with benefit him in a big way. Even though it is his first time playing the position since prior to high school, he is very confident in his abilities.
Torain is fortunate to play alongside two highly talented players in rising seniors, quarterback Danny Boon and running back Malik Davis. Also, the Tigers feature rising senior wideout Travell Harris, who I talked to last month. Torain calls Boon and Davis true captains. He has a great relationship with Boon and the two throw passes after every practice.
Last year’s undefeated season ended at home in the Class 5A state semifinals to eventual champion Orlando Bishop Moore. Torain gives all the credit to his coaching staff for the 13-1 season.
Under head coach Matt Thompson, who has guided the Tigers to three straight district titles and a 29-10 record since being hired in 2012 are positional coaches Kyle Jones and Bubba Steinestel. Torain loves what they bring to the table.
“Coach Jones and coach Steinestel are two of the best defensive back coaches in Hillsborough County, hands down. They know what they are talking about. They helped lead us to undefeated. They are shutdown.”
Ever since he can remember, Torain has been connected to the game of football. He played quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback for most of his childhood looking to get his hands on the ball whenever he could.
Around fifth grade is when he says he became truly confident in his overall game.
“My youth football coaches helped me realize the talent I had. Usually. I would go out there and play to the other team’s level instead of playing to my own level.”
He says his biggest strengths are his speed, hands and length. Length is something his coaches have told him will really help him be an asset as a cover corner this season. Torain is looking to improve his route running and all-around strength.
Spring practices are underway and he says they’ve been going great. Torain says everyone is healthy for the Tigers and they are practicing really well.
The spring jamboree will be a split game against Plant and Robinson.
Playing at a storied school like Jesuit is not something most kids get to experience. The facilities are all top notch, the coaches are one of a kind and a ton of students go on to do great things on and off the field. That is something Torain has always appreciated about his program.
“Because of the tradition, I’m really grateful that I can experience that. Every Friday we have a lot of fans, we have a lot of people that have gone there that come back to support.”
Earlier last month, Torain had some pretty special experiences. First Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon came to Jesuit for a throwing session. Glennon told Torain that he was smooth on the field and that he’d tell the NC State coaching staff about him (that’s where the interest came from).
“Talking to him [Glennon] was really exciting. He’s not really an overconfident guy. He’s really humble. He gave me a couple of pointers on how to run certain routes and he helped improve my game.”
Torain also took part in the Big County Preps E7 spring camp in Lakeland last month. He earned the invite to the Xecutives showcase this summer.
The biggest play in his football career has helped him land these type of opportunities. In the 5A-Region 3 Quarterfinal against Lakewood on Nov. 14, Torain scored his first career touchdown on a 40-yard catch and run (see the TD below). The Tigers eventually won 31-8.
Here’s what Torain had to say about the touchdown.
“It was an exciting and new experience. My teammates really cheered me on and I was grateful. Danny put that pass where it needed to be. It was an overwhelming experience.
..When I was first broke down for the route Danny had to scramble so I knew I’d be open. When he threw it, I had so much field ahead of me I didn’t want to drop the ball because I was just trying to run. Everything fell into place.”
When Torain hits the field whether it is a practice or a game he always feels like it’s time to go. “No more games, it’s time to show everyone what I have,” he says.
His biggest role model is his mom.
“She shows me how she struggles sometimes to take care of me. All the sacrifices she makes, it makes me work harder so she doesn’t have to sacrifice anymore.”
The best piece of advice Torain ever received was to not bite off more than you can chew. He believes in taking everything he does step-by-step and to not overwhelm himself.
Torain’s ultimate goal off the field is to service and help others in need. He is aiming to land a Division-I scholarship and hopefully worry about the NFL later.
This kid has legitimate speed, size and smarts. He should excel even further in his offensive role as a wide receiver and scatback at times running jet sweeps. On defense, his length and range will be a huge benefit to his transition at cornerback. Torain is going to have a solid 2016 campaign, just sit back and watch.
Favorite players – Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, former IMG Academy and current LSU freshman Savion Smith.
Playlist before games – Future
Favorite movies – Remember the Titans
Favorite TV show – Ridiculousness
Fun fact that nobody knows – “I used to be the shortest one on the field through all my life of football. Now I’m one of the tallest. I sprouted out of nowhere.”
Nickname from friends or teammates – “Slim” and “Slim Shady”
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.