Golden Tate answers additional questions in this two-minute audio clip exclusively for Scout.com subscribers. Find out how his experience at Notre Dame has prepared him for the NFL, his reaction to winning the Biletnikoff Award, and more: Listen to Audio
Ed Thompson: As you've been preparing for the NFL Combine what's been going
through your head? And how have you been preparing yourself for this big event?
Golden Tate: I want to do my best and I want to put myself in the best
situation to impress all 32 teams. Hopefully they'll see something in me that
can help them in the upcoming years. As far as training, I've been very
fortunate to train at Athlete's Performance in Phoenix, Arizona. They've done a great
job with getting me ready for the Combine and the different tests, even with
things like the Wonderlic and the interview
process. I think it's been great for me. I've been very fortunate to work with
Coach Roy Green, a legend when he played wide receiver. Nick and
Joel do a great job with our field work--the 5-10-5, the 3-cone drill, and the
40. Many of us were never taught how to
run, we were just blessed with fast feet and strong legs. But those guys have
been great at teaching us the technique and also about nutrition to help us get rid of
the body fat and turn it into lean mass. I'm very appreciative to be a part of the program.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Thompson: Golden, one of the words that pop into mind anytime someone
talks about you and the great career you had at Notre Dame is the word
playmaker. Talk about what you feel you've done to achieve that kind of status
in the minds of people who have watched you play and enjoyed watching you play.
Tate: I guess I can credit that to Pope John Paul, II High School and
Grand Mar when I played for them. As a youngster I started off as a running
back. They gave me the ball and said, "Golden run." I was always
faster than the other guys on the field. I think being a running back gives you
a different perspective on the field and the game. Cornerbacks typically aren't
the best tacklers on the team. A lot of times I'm going against free safeties
and cornerbacks, so I have the ability to make guys miss. Plus I'm really close
to the ground. I have the mentality that I do not want to be tackled. Its
finishing plays and working hard after you catch the ball. In my position there
are thousands and thousands of receivers in high school and middle school and
even in college who are there to catch balls. But for me, it more than catching
balls. It's finishing the play and turning a 6 yard hitch into a 20 yard gain or
even getting a first down. It's just my mentality. I don't like to be tackled. I
like attempting to make the impossible, possible.
Thompson: Your dad was drafted by the Colts back in 1984. What have you been able to draw from his football experience over the years?
Tate: To be honest, my father and I don't talk about football. He's
not the guy I've always gone to for questions about playing receiver. When I was
younger he would be the one out there throwing the ball to me and punting it way
up in the air so I could catch it. But I didn't play a lick of receiver until I got to college, so it's not like I knew that I would be playing the same position as him when I was
younger. My father and I have a regular father-son relationship and we talk
about things other than football. I wish we would have spoken more about
football, but at the end of the day, we're two different types of players anyway. He's a
6-foot-3 guy who's probably a possession guy, and I see myself as a 5-foot-10 guy
who's explosive and can make anything happen at any point.
Thompson: You're heading into the draft process with your
quarterback, Jimmy Clausen. Are you guys talking much as you're preparing for
Tate: I talk to Jimmy every now and then. He's in L.A. handling his foot
situation and trying to get as strong as possible. I'm here dealing with
two-a-days at the ATI all day. When I get home I'm exhausted and kind of want
to be to myself. But I've kept in touch with him and he's doing great. He's
excited about the Combine and so am I.
Thompson: Who are some of the NFL receivers you admire?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Tate: Two guys come to mind. Steve Smith from the Panthers, I really respect his game and I really
enjoy the way he plays it. He's a guy built like me, speed is similar, very tough. I
like to think I'm a tough guy. I'm not afraid to go across the middle and I'm not
afraid to go catch a ball at its high point. He's a small guy, but he plays like
he's 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3, going up to get balls. He's one of the guys I like
to model my game after. The other one is Percy Harvin. During my senior year in high school
I watched him when he was at Florida, and even this year. That's a guy who is
very elusive and can do many things--reverses, the wildcat, get in the backfield, and he can go out wide. I honestly think I can do that. I think with the NFL now, it's evolved into more
than receivers just being receivers. So, we'll see.
Thompson: Have you been able to prepare yourself for the fact that in
a few short days you're going to be going door to door,
plopping down with NFL head coaches for interview sessions?
Tate: Yeah, but that's the thing with Notre Dame, we
have the national spotlight. A lot of people have been through the door at Notre
Dame. I've been very fortunate to speak with Rocket Ishmael, Jerome Bettis, Joe
Theisman, and even Reggie Wayne. So as far as who's in the room, I'm sure there
will be a lot of respectable names. But, I'm just going to be myself and
hopefully they'll see something in me that can help their programs.
Thompson: As you've been preparing for the Combine, has
there been anything in particular that you've been focusing on?
Tate: Yeah, the 40 is is a big thing for me. I've been training for all the
events, but that's one thing you might catch me staying after practice for. I'm
just trying to be consistent, and I know what I'm doing now. The scouts know I can catch the ball. The scouts know I'm
tough and hard to bring down. But one of the questions I'm sure they have is,
"what's this guy's speed like?" I'm not the typical 6-foot-3 guy who's
going to go up and get the high ball. So, that's one thing I've really focused
on and hopefully I'm going to be fast!
Thompson: What makes football fun for you?
Tate: I really enjoy the
lights being on--all lights on me to see if Golden is going to make this play. I
really enjoy it. Some guys, when the lights come on, they shy away. That's not
me at all. I enjoy the spotlight and I have fun while I'm under the spotlight. I
think that's one thing that makes me love football. Also, there's no greater
feeling than catching a touchdown over a defender and having 80-plus thousand people
cheering you on. I don't think there's anything better than that. That's one of
the things I really do appreciate about being at Notre Dame and about playing football.
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