Tate is prepared for football

The Notre Dame coaching staff is concentrating on recruiting versatile athletes for the 2007 recruiting class, and a player that certainly fits that bill is Golden Tate of John Paul II high school (Hendersonville, Tenn.) Scout.com has him rated as the No. 15 wide receiver in the country, but he could play running back or in the defensive backfield at the next level.

Golden Tate (6-0 180 pounds) has had a busy summer. As a top-flight baseball player and highly recruited football player, he's been performing a balancing act all summer. As the summer stares into August, Tate has hung up his mitt and grabbed the pigskin.

"Everything's the same except football practice is here, and I'm done with baseball," Tate responded when asked about his summer workouts. "I'll be excited the first two or three days but going on day four or five it gets tough. It'll make me a better player though.

"We don't get in full gear until July 31 and I'm real anxious for the scrimmages. I'm interested to see where our team is. Hopefully we've improved a lot. Hopefully we've gotten a lot stronger so we can win the state championship our senior year. That would be great.

"We're picked to win our region, but that doesn't mean anything if guys don't work. Hopefully we work toward that," he said.

Golden hasn't begun to narrow down his college options, but the schools that stand out at this time are Alabama, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame.

Tate hasn't become overwhelmed by the recruiting process, and for the time being he'll let everything come to him.

"I haven't heard too much from any coaches, but I'm still getting the mail and all that stuff at home," Tate said of the recruiting attention he's receiving. "I'm going to take my trips whenever I can, but I'm going to try to focus on high school during the season and toward the end of my season I'll start focusing on college. What ever happens happens.

"I may go somewhere close during my season, but I probably won't be able to go after a game because I'm generally sore Saturday and Sunday."

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.

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