Golden Opportunity

Notre Dame hasn't been chasing many running back prospects for the 2007 recruiting class, but that may change shortly. Golden Tate of John Paul II high school (Hendersonville, Tenn.) is a dynamic player that is a threat to take it the distance every time he has the ball in his hands.

Golden Tate (6-0 180-pounds) isn't certain how much interest the Irish have in him at this time, but they made a point of dropping by his high school to speak with his head coach, Jeff Brothers.

"They stopped to see me last week sometime, and I get letters from them about everyday, but I'm not sure how hard they're recruiting me," responded Tate when asked if the Irish were recruiting him. "Notre Dame is just the whole package; academics, coaches, they have a winning team. They're improving as a team."

"Charlie Weis is a great coach. I'd love to run under Touchdown Jesus one day, and Jimmy Clausen is going there and he's a real good quarterback."

"Probably running back or wide receiver," explained Tate when asked which position the Irish were recruiting him to play. "I want to be a halfback. I play wide receiver and run the ball. I can do both I think. Wherever the coach puts me, I'll play my hardest."

Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have offered Tate a scholarship. When a prospects begins to survey his options, playing time often factors into his decision.

"I didn't follow anybody," Tate said when asked about playing time at the colleges he is considering. "I watch football, but I really don't pay attention to any names. The only one I really know is that kid that plays football and baseball for Notre Dame, [Jeff] Samardzija and that's about all.

"I love playing. I wasn't too much into watching it, but now that I'm being recruited, you kind of wonder how they're doing so now I'll pay attention a little more."

"It's real early for me. Right now I'm worrying about one thing at a time. I'm just worrying about my ACT," Tate said when asked when he'll start focusing on schools. "I just took it a few weeks ago and I haven't gotten my scores back yet. Once I get that I'll start figuring out what college will be best for me and where I fit best. I'll start looking up schools. I'll look at depth on the team, their graduation rate and all that stuff."

In 2005, Tate had 137 carries for 1,027 yards and 11 touchdowns (7.5 yards per carry). He also had 38 receptions for 813 yards and nine touchdowns (21.4 yards per catch). He returned 17 punts for 231 yards (13.6 per return) and 19 kick-offs for 426 yards (22.4 yards per return). He returned three kicks for touchdowns with a long return of 96 yards. For his career, Tate has 60 touchdowns, 2,170 rushing yards 1,735 receiving and 10 interceptions. Top Stories