The three-star prospect put off his recruitment to help the Pine Bluff Zebras on the field, but is now ready to take his official visits and eventually commit.
Among the schools John Tate will check out before signing day in early February is Boise State, where he is right now actually.
"I like that they're a winning program," Tate said of the Broncos. "They win a lot of games. I like coach (Steve) Caldwell. He's a great guy and a good coach. I also really like coach (Bryan) Harsin. I met him him when he was at Arkansas State."
Tate is in Boise for an official visit this weekend (Jan. 15-17). He will check out Memphis on Jan. 22 and Arizona State on Jan. 29. Those three universities, along with Louisiana Tech (which he has visited unofficially a number of times), make up his top four.
"I want somewhere with a good atmosphere. I want somewhere that is like a family," Tate said. "Going on my visits is going to give me a first-hand view of what the coaches and programs are like.
"I want to commit and I don't want to decommit. I want to get a good feel before I make my decision. That's why I want to wait until after my visits."
While Arkansas isn't one of Boise State's normal recruiting areas, the Broncos do have a verbal pledge from one of the state's top players in running back Damarea Crockett (Little Rock Christian Academy). He and Tate have developed quite the friendship after becoming acquainted years ago. It extends to social media, where from time to time Crockett playfully tells Tate to commit to Boise State.
"Damarea and I met each other at some basketball games a while ago," Tate said. "We played AAU together and we went to some camps together. He's a great guy. I do think he will have an influence on my recruitment."
Now up to 6 foot 5 and 280 pounds, Tate, who plays center on Pine Bluff's basketball team, has a college football-ready body, and the talent to go with it. He hopes to play early wherever he ends up committing.
"I want to get on the field as a true freshman," he said. "The possibility of doing that is something I am looking for."
Tate doesn't plan on doing a singing day announcement ceremony or anything like that, but he does want to take his time before committing.
"After my last visit I am going to wait a couple of days and make a decision," he said.
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