Coach Calls Recruit a "Gifted" Prospect

Benjamin Tate's high school coach gives an analysis of the Auburn verbal commitment.

Auburn, Ala.--After camping at Auburn this summer and later checking out the Tigers during football practices in Auburn, Benjamin Tate will be on campus this weekend for his official recruiting visit.

Tate, who committed to Auburn in July, is quite a catch for the Tigers, according to his high school coach, Stan Griffin. He says the 5-10 1/2 207-pound tailback from Snow Hill High School in Maryland is an exciting football player.

Tate, who transferred to Snow Hill High this year after rushing for more than 2,800 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior at Stephen Decatur High, has already made a strong impression on his new head coach.

"He just gives us a back that is blessed with all the gifts," Coach Stan Griffin says about what Tate will bring to his team. "He has got speed. He has got power. He has got natural instincts and he has got size."

Griffin adds that having the chance to coach a player like Tate is almost a once in a lifetime experience. "He is the complete package. I would say as a coach I have coached each part of him in different people, but never all of it combined in one.

"I might have had a guy who could cut really well, but he was only 150 or 160 pounds with breakaway speed, or a guy with good power or good speed that didn't have the moves that he has. It is just rare to have all of those gifts, and to be honest with you they are gifts, but he has also worked very, very hard to develop them."

Tate will be on the Auburn campus this weekend to check out the season opener for the Tigers, who play Georgia Tech at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday. Tate and offensive line prospect Aaron Brown will be the two prospects taking official visits. Both players are scheduled to be early graduates who are expected to finish high school in December.

Along with being a naturally talented athlete, Griffin says Tate has already shown that he is a team leader. "He is a very hard worker from when we are running to plays to when we are running conditioning sprints," he notes.

"Leadership-wise, I can say one big thing about him. He has the ability to remain positive when things aren't going the team's way. He doesn't get his head in the tank. He keeps positive and he tries to spread that among his teammates, and that is to keep their heads up and knowing that it is not over until it is over."

Benjamin Tate

The Snow Hill coach explains that he expects Tate to be a major point of emphasis in his offense this season, which begins on Sept. 9th. "Huge, huge," he says about how big a role the senior transfer will play on his team.

"He is going to be a huge part for us because I think guys are going to try and key on him, and he will still do well, but the fact is if they key on him we have other guys that can burn them. He will open things up for the other guys and once those other guys do what they can do then he will benefit from not being keyed on quite as much."

Griffin says that he is also very impressed with Tate off the field. "As a person I really like him, I enjoy him," the coach explains. "I enjoy him and I think he has got good manners. He speaks well to coaches and other players.

"He can come off as shy sometimes, but once you get to know him he is a fun and outgoing kid," Griffin continues. "To be honest with you, he is good with little kids. I have a five year old son that he plays with and the athletic director has a young son that he plays with, too. He is just an all-around good guy, a real good guy and I think he is going to be a fine young man."

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