Is Tate Still Solid With AU Commitment?

AU's talented tailback commitment, Benjamin Tate, talks about his recent official visit to Maryland and his impressive start to his senior season.

Snow Hill, Md.—Even though Auburn running back commitment Benjamin Tate has decided to take all five of his official visits during the fall, does it mean that he's shopping around? Not according to Tate it doesn't.

"Oh yes," he says when asked if he was still committed to the Tigers' after his second official visit, which was to check out the home state Maryland Terrapins.

"I had a pretty good time at Maryland," he notes about the trip. "Auburn is just on a whole other level, but other than that I had pretty good time, enjoyed myself and did everything that you are supposed to do on a visit. This type of thing only happens once in a lifetime and that is the whole reason for taking all of these visits and everything like that because it only happens once and I am not going to get to do that again."

Both Auburn fans and coaches are certainly happy to hear that Tate is still solid with his commitment to the Tigers, especially after the way the 5-10 ½, 210-pound back has kicked off his senior season.

The talented rusher has been ripping holes in opposing defenses on the ground and has an almost unheard of average of 18.8 yards per carry through three games.

However, Tate notes that putting up big numbers is not something that is important to him at this point in his high school career. "I think I am having a pretty good senior year so far," he says. "Our team is 3-0 and that is what is most important to me right now. Winning the state championship is our ultimate goal. I am not really too worried about my stats as an individual. Even though I have personal goals, I am putting those aside."

Benjamin Tate (left), who was a frequent preseason visitor to the Plains, hangs out with fellow AU commitment Bart Eddins (center) and OL prospect David Ross (right) at a preseason practice.

Even with team oriented goals taking top priority, most tailbacks would be ecstatic about rushing for 576 yards and six touchdowns on only 31 carries through three games, but Tate notes that he just can't look at things that way.

"I guess, but you will always think that there is a way that I can do better, or think that there is something that I didn't do right that game," he explains about being excited by the way he is starting his senior season. "That is what I look at. I guess as a fan it is exciting to watch me play and watch me make long runs and everything like that, but even though I made that long run I will go back and look at the tape and think to myself, ‘why didn't I do this or why didn't I do that, or you could have done this better.'

"When I go back and look at things it is not just the long runs, even though you look at the long runs, most of these things I won't be able to do in college," he continues. "So, I look at a tape and that is what I think about, ‘you broke this 75-yarder here, but do you think you will be able to do that in college?' So, that is the way I think about things and I try to prepare for things as though I am playing against the some of the guys on the level of a college athlete."

He adds that one of the biggest areas that he is focusing on improving his play in is the passing game. "I am definitely working on running good precise routes when I am going out for passes or making sure I stay on my blocks when I am sitting back there and trying to block for the quarterback," Tate says. "I am just trying to do a very good job in pass blocking and get myself ready for the next level when you have to go against the big defensive ends and guys like that, so I am just trying to make sure that my technique is pretty good."

His work ethic and focus on team-oriented goals seems to have really helped Tate quickly become a trusted member of his new Snow Hill team.

"At first it was a little hard because the guys knew I came from a rival school or whatever, but once we all got to know each other everything started going pretty smoothly," he explains about the transition period. "Those guys actually look up to me, talk to me and even ask me for advice sometimes."

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