The Best

Junior wide receiver Golden Tate became Notre Dame's first Biletnikoff award winner last night at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show.

Five days after announcing he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, former Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate earned the school's first Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's top wide receiver.

Tate was also recognized as a 1st Team member of the prestigious Walter Camp All-American squad. The junior was in attendance at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held at the Walt Disney World Resort where he accepted both honors. He set Notre Dame single-season records with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards while tying a third school mark, catching 15 receiving touchdowns in 2009. He added two rushing touchdowns as well as a punt return for a score. The 18 total touchdowns is tied for the second highest single-season total in program history and ranks first among wide receivers.

Tate totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards, the second most in Irish single-season history behind Tim Brown's 1,937 set in 1986. The Hendersonville, TN product tied or set eight school records and ranks in the top eight nationally in nine different statistical categories.

His nine separate 100-yard receiving games set a school record and no FBS wide receiver exceeded that total. Tate reached paydirt at least once in each of the final 11 Irish games this season. Tate ranks as the first Notre Dame player to be named to the Walter Camp First Team All-America squad since cornerback Shane Walton (2002) season and the school's first offensive player to earn the honor since offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal (1998). Note: The December issue of IrishEyes magazine includes a feature story recapping Tate's sterling 2009 season while comparing his efforts to outstanding single seasons of Notre Dame's legendary offensive players. Top Stories