Andre Tate Talks Playoffs & Gopher Decision

Andre Tate, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound running back from Mendota Heights (MN) Henry Sibley, rushed 26 times for 336 and five touchdowns in the Warriors' 35-21 win over Minneapolis Southwest Tuesday. Tate, who is one of the state's top rushers, has committed to Minnesota. Golden Sports.Net caught up with Tate to learn the latest on the playoffs and his Gopher commitment.

Andre Tate will be asked to be a workhorse Saturday as Sibley will be without star QB Phil Haig, who was tossed from the Southwest game after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Tate scored on a 12,14, 53, 61 and 85 yard touchdown run against Southwest. He has 192 carries for 1,266 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.

Tate rushed 247 times for 1,157 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns last year as he led the Warriors to a 4-5 mark. He was named to the Classic Suburban All-Conference team. He caught seven passes for 147 yards and one additional score.

Tate paced the team to 5-6 mark as a part-time player as a sophomore and led the Warrriors to the Class 5A, Section 5 Finals.

Tate finished with a 24.07 200-yard dash and a 50.52 400-yard dash in the Class 2AAA True Team Championship as a sophomore.

Tate has been working with a personal trainer to prepare for his senior season and college.

You had a great game, obviously. How big was your play, especially when Phil (Haig) was no longer part of the game?
"I played well, but I give a lot of it to my line. I think that a lot of running backs would have been able to do what I did with the holes I had to work with. One good thing about this team is that if our quarterback goes down, we think that we can still get it done and we did. We did not panic. We just kept feeding my the ball and the line kept hitting people and we got it done."
Were you impressed by their defense? They had a lot of smaller defenders, but did a good job of gang tackling you.
"People say that City teams are sometimes a joke and that you can not take them seriously, but they came to play. They came to play and they hit us in the mouth. I have all the respect in the world for them. I have all the respect in the world for their coaches, because they came to play. It came down to who wanted it more and we wanted it more.
How about your play this year? You have not had the record that hoped for, but maybe this is a sign that you can maybe get things going in the playoffs.
"A lot of those games were close. If we had just had a kicker, we could have pulled some of those out. Some, such as homecoming against Mahtomedi, we had a 2-point lead and we just quit and you can't do that. You've got to play four quarters. That is what football is about. The record is not what we want, but it is a third season and you throw the records out the window and keep going."
You made the decision to commit to Minnesota early. You've been to a lot of Minnesota games this season. What is your feeling about how you fit in with the team next year? Have you talked to the coaches much about that?
"I am more than willing to play as a true freshman, if they need me. I know that I will be physically ready. because I am going to be in the weight room. I am going to be running and working with a trainer. When it comes time to step on the Division I field, I'll be ready if they need me."
The Gophers have had great success with their running backs in the past, although not as much this season. Is that something that appealed to you?
"Definitely. Traditionally, Minnesota is above average. They are going to put a line out there. The coaching staff is good.They've developed running backs. Coach Adamle knows his stuff. They are going to put running backs on the field and they are going to put them in the next level, becuase that is what Minnesota does."   
Despite the commitment, do you hear from colleges at all?
"I still hear quite a bit from Kansas, but I'm locked up with Minnesota. I'm perfectly happy with Minnesota. They are in a slump right now, but I think that they are young and they are going to be all right and with Phil and I going there, I'm hoping that we'll help turn it around."

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