Hard Work Pays Off For Pate

Quite literally, one of the biggest recruits in the JUCO ranks this fall is Scottsdale DT Andre Pate (6-3, 350). He entered college weighing roughly 495 pounds, but has worked hard to get to where he is and that "can do" attitude has paid off with three early offers and more could be on the way in the very near future...

"I weighed 495 when I graduated high school," admitted Pate when asked about what he's been up to this summer. "I really have worked hard at losing weight, not just for football, but for my overall health, and it has really paid off for me."

Pate said there hasn't been a real secret to his success, just eating right and working hard.

"There's nothing special," Pate said. "I drink a lot of water, I work out a lot and I eat better and the pounds just sort of melt away.

"My conditioning is something I am really focused on this offseason. I redshirted last year, so this is my year to really show people what I can do and so my conditioning is a big thing. I also want to get down another 15 or 20 pounds before the start of the season.

"I'm also working a lot on my footwork and my technique because it's been a while since I've been out on the field playing ball."

As a prep in Louisville (Ky.), Pate was recruited, but he was unable to qualify for a scholarship so, he took some time off and decided, since football didn't appear to be in his future, he'd just turn to academics and focus on that.

"I enrolled at Western Kentucky as just a regular student because everyone was telling me that I couldn't play ball at my weight, so it sorta got me down and depressed," Pate said. "I started to eat right and work out and the weight started coming off and I really missed football, so I decided to leave school and head out here to Scottsdale because I wanted to see a different part of the country and I'd never been out here on the West Coast, so it was a great chance for me to come out and play and possibly get a scholarship when I was done."

That dream has been realized over the past couple of weeks and schools have started to offer and more could be getting into the mix after the first few games of the season.

"I have offers right now from Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky and my latest one is from Middle Tennessee State," Pate said excitedly. "I have been talking a lot with Louisville, Indiana, UCLA, Arizona, UCF and Illinois, but all of them said that they really wanted to see me play in a game situation.

"Most of the schools saw me in the spring and they really liked me, but they said they needed to see how I adjusted to game situations and how I handled myself in that before they could offer me."

Pate is projected to play inside for the Artichokes this fall, but he said his role hasn't been defined at this point.

"I can play either the one (nose guard) or the three (defensive tackle) and that's what they had me doing in the spring," Pate said. "I have good feet and a quick first step and my hands are powerful, so that really helps me in rushing the quarterback or shedding and making plays against the run."

"I feel so blessed to have this opportunity again and I'm not going to waste it."

Pate is on track to finish up his two-year degree in May and he will have two years to play two following the 2014 football season.

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