“Coach [Rob] Likens, he came down before he got the job at Kansas, and he said he liked me a lot, at Cal, but I guess he said the coach was still thinking about offering me,” Tate said. “As soon as Likens got his job at Kansas, that’s when he offered me, and I think, over time, I guess they kept watching the film, and they saw that I could really fit in their offense.”
Tate stands at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, but he plays much bigger, and that’s part of why the Bears like him, and why Greg Burns extended an offer on Tuesday, on behalf of Tony Franklin.
“I think they like my determination – I keep the ball a lot, and I never like checking down plays (I need to work on that, because it gets the best of me, no doubt), but coaches like that I play fearless,” Tate said. “I just play my heart out, every play.”
Cal has not had a player come out of Serra since linebacker Jason Gibson, but Tate is certainly interested.
“I like the location, that it’s not too far, not too close,” Tate said. “I like their offense a lot. A couple of guys are up there that played on my 7-on-7 team a couple of years ago -- Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs. I still have to do some more research.”
Tate took over the starting spot for Gardena (Calif.) Serra midway through the year from senior Caleb Wilson, and didn’t let go.
“This time last year, it was my job, really, and then Caleb came, and I guess because of his size, he got put in the role because of that,” said Tate. “After that, as the season progressed, at the beginning of the season, I was the only one really moving the ball, and actually scoring. He was putting us in position, but towards the middle of the season, they figured, we need to move the ball. When I was a starting quarterback, we averaged over 500 yards a game, and 40 or 50 points a game.”
Tate hasn’t yet discussed any visits with his parents. Overall, Tate has a 2.8 GPA, but this past semester, had a 3.3.
“My freshman year, my head wasn’t right,” Tate said. “That knocked me off a little bit, but other than that, I’m doing pretty well. The coaches like that I’m making progress. That’s what they look for.”
Though it was Burns – the defensive backs coach – who offered Tate, he has spoken with Franklin, who will be coaching quarterbacks and running backs while coordinating the offense.
“Coach Burns came the week before signing day, and he talked to a couple of us about the school and what they have to offer with the academics, as well as athletics, and then I talked to coach Franklin,” Tate said. “We didn’t talk for a long time, but he did reach out and we talked.
“Coach Franklin, he told me, ‘Don’t let coach Burns try to make you play defense,’ so I guess coach Franklin wants me at quarterback,” Tate laughed.