John Paul II High School head coach Jeff Brothers needed a play, he turned to his two-time Tennessee Mr. Football and Golden Tate (6-foot-0, 180 pound) always responded. The Notre Dame commitment spent the first part of 2007 showing his moves to the players at the Offense-Defense All-American game.
"It went really well," Tate replied when asked about his weeklong all-star experience. "I did good in practice. They didn't throw much to me in the game (two receptions for 12 yards), but I had some key blocks that led to touchdowns, so I'm happy with that.
"I was just trying to have fun. I just played hard and tried to be a leader. It was fun getting to be around a bunch of guys. Andrew [Nuss] and I talked a lot. We hung out at the game. I hung out with everybody really. I'm the type of guy that tries to get to know everybody.
"I had a good time, and it's just an all-star game so I'm not going to complain. It's about showcasing people and I'm just looking forward to going to Notre Dame. That's when I'll actually have time to practice and show coach Weis what I can do."
It Isn't clear where coach Weis will utilize Tate's talents, and Golden isn't too concerned. He has played both wide receiver and running back throughout his career. The all-star game was a step up in competition, but the experience only built Tate's confidence.
"It wasn't a big deal," Tate said of the talent level at the all-star game. "I was a little nervous, but after a little while it was routine. I was just getting out there and running routes and catching balls.
"I played receiver all weekend. I didn't work out at running back at all… it wasn't a big deal. My high school used me wherever. I mostly played running back because defenses couldn't stop our running game. When they did stop it, we'd just throw it out to me, or we had my brother at running back and he run through the holes."
Hopefully that gameplan is in Notre Dame's arsenal. The Irish will be very young in 2007, but Tate likes his guys.
"I'm excited," Golden said. "We have some great athletes coming in like Armando Allen. We got the offensive lineman that de-committed from Florida State, Chris Little. We have Duval Kamara and Greg Little, so we got speed.. We've got Gary Gray. We have the No. 1 quarterback in the nation. Hopefully he can step in and do the job and lead us to another bowl game.
"I think we'll be young, but we'll see how things play out. Coach Weis is a great coach, so he'll have a great game plan every week."