Allen: When did you know you wanted to go to Michigan? I mean, what was the earliest that you said thought seriously about attending Michigan?
TATE: "You mean when I wanted to commit or when was a little kid, seeing my dad scream at the TV when they played Ohio State? *laughs* My dad's from Birmingham, he grew up in Michigan, so we all grew up Michigan fans. All the way since we were young, I remember watching Charles Woodson running back interceptions and Brian Griese throwing touchdowns, I remember all that. We've always been fans and it was my brother's dream to go to Michigan, I didn't think I'd get all the attention I did get from all the different schools. I was told though by other people in other states that you make a decision off of what you think in your mind and not in your heart. It happened to be that I love Michigan, so I decided to go and play there. I made that decision with my heart and my mind."
A lot of commits, especially the quarterbacks, seem to take it upon themselves and recruit other players to their school with them. How much of that have you done?
"It's hard for me. I'm not going to lie and say I talk to a bunch of guys. I have to take care of my own priorities. I'm trying to get my classes so I can graduate early. But I talked to Bryce McNeal, Shaquelle Evans, he's hard to get ahold of, but I talked to him. He's a soft verbal to USC, but he's still planning on taking a trip out there, so hopefully we can get him. He's one heck of a wide receiver, I saw him at camps."
Have you talked to Bryce since his decommitment?
I talked to him before he did it and I was asking him, what are you doing? But I don't blame him, Michigan brings in the greatest wide receivers around the country. You're going to be competing. He was worried he wasn't going to get opportunity he would other places and I told him, you've got to compete wherever you go. Also, it's a once in a lifetime thing and he wanted to make most of it. He still loves Michigan, but he didn't want to feel obligated to just Michigan and feel guilty taking those trips, that was a big part of his decommitment.
Part of your training has been boxing, how did that come about and how has that helped you?
I actually stopped boxing going into junior year, I did it my freshman and sophomore year. My brother Chris had a calcium build up in wrist and he didn't have the spin on the ball from hitting the bag. My dad was worried that would happen with me. How it helps me is being able to take hits and hand speed. You never know when a defensive end is going to come around the corner and you have to get rid of the ball real fast. It helped my conditioning, reflexes, speed in hands and all the hits you're going to take, it prepared me for that.
So have you actually fought anyone in the ring?
I've sparred with people, not full on fighting, go rounds, full on hitting, except, not like a whole match.
With all the extensive training you do, how excited does that make you to come up to Ann Arbor and train with Mike Barwis?
Coach Barwis, I've been doing nearly that type of training whole life, with all the stuff Marv (Marinovich) does. I told Marv that and he loves that, he couldn't believe it. The speed and explosive training and some of the things Coach Barwis has done with players, imagine what he could get me to do with all his energy and having him push you.
What has gone through your mind watching Michigan week after week this year?
"Everybody's been asking me if decommit. People say, Toledo, come on Tate, Toledo? How do they lose to Toledo? How is because they need the right people to run their offense, they're dealing with kids who they didn't recruit, kids who went there to play in a pro style offense. They're losing games, but honestly, I think it's expected for them to not do so well. The second they get that offense up and running, it's going to be a whole another level. I think they'll set some records."
For more on Tate including his views on his recruitment, coming to camp with two quarterbacks committed this summer, his website and much more, check out next month's issue of GoBlueWolverine Magazine.