Tate likes baseball, too

Tennessee's 2005 "Mr. Football" is looking for a college that will allow him to run the bases, as well as pass patterns.

Hendersonville receiver/running back Golden Tate recently told Yancy Porter of Scout.com that the schools he currently considers his favorites have promised the opportunity to compete on the diamond AND the gridiron.

"Vandy, Alabama and Notre Dame are way up there because they are going to let me play football and baseball in college," Tate told Porter. "That is very important to me."

Tennessee has enjoyed some success with combination football/baseball players in the past, the notables including Colorado Rockies standout Todd Helton.

Tate says he already has scholarship offers from the Vols, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson and Vanderbilt.

Baseball season kept Tate from participating in spring football drills at Pope John Paul II High School, but he says he keeps in touch with football recruiters via text-messaging. He notes that UT, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Bama and Vandy are the schools he text-messages the most.

The widespread interest in Tate is understandable. He rushed for 1,027 yards (7.5 per carry) and 11 touchdowns last fall, in addition to catching 38 passes for 813 yards (21.4 per reception) and nine TDs. He also averaged 13.6 yards on 17 punt returns and 22.4 yards on 19 kickoff runbacks. He can play a little defense, too, recording 10 interceptions to date.

Questioned by Porter regarding his best attributes, Tate replied: "My speed (4.42 over 40 yards) and my quickness are probably my biggest strengths. I can change directions pretty fast. That helps me make people miss and get to the corner."

Tate appears likely to be a full qualifier academically. He has a 3.1 grade-point average and recently took the ACT test.

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