Every season we see it. A largely unknown player defies expectations and makes headlines after posting a strong start to the season. Golden Tate is going through this at the moment. However, it is not for quite the same reasons.
It has not involved multiple touchdown games or huge receiving yards. Over the last two regular season games, a nasty block and a controversial (putting it lightly) game-winning touchdown have put Seattle’s Golden Tate on the front page.
But outside of the last two weeks and the storm surrounding Tate, what else is there to know about No. 81?
The 24-year-old Tennessee native pinned his name on the map at Pope John Paul II High School in his hometown of Hendersonville. Check it out for yourself here.
Tate’s next step saw him put in a University of Notre Dame jersey. Before he forewent his senior season at ND, he established an All-American caliber college career.
His Notre Dame Football profile describes Tate as: “One of the most electrifying wide receivers for the Irish in recent memory blossomed into the top playmaker on the team in 2008” (source: UND.com)
In his final season, he shared team MVP honors with current Carolina Panthers backup QB Jimmy Clausen. Tate’s most notable achievement to date is being the recipient of the Biletnikoff Award for the top College Wide Receiver. That puts him on the same list as some of the best. Past winners include: Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.
Like his current quarterback, Russell Wilson, Tate was also a good baseball player. He starred in the left field for Notre Dame. But his best opportunities were on the football field, which was made official when he was drafted with the 28th pick in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Tate followed in his father’s footsteps toward an NFL career. Golden Tate Jr. was a WR at Tennessee State and was subsequently the 120th pick by the Colts in the 1984 Draft.
In terms of talent, what separates Tate from other WRs is his ability after the catch.
He is built like a RB and can steal yards from defenders through breaking tackles. You do not want to give him space, though, because that is when he is most dangerous. He truly is a versatile athlete that could slot into RB, CB or SS.
Coming out of college, he was, at times, criticized for his size and explosiveness. But every season he looks to be making inroads at diminishing these doubts.
In his sophomore professional season, Tate played in all 16 games for the Seahawks, where he recorded 33 receptions for 382 yards including three TDs. Already this season, he looks as if he will crush these figures even though he missed the first game.
He has totaled 106 yards from six receptions in just two starts. He may not be a fantasy superstar, but on an offense that is led by Marshawn Lynch and the run, Tate is very efficient.
If Golden Tate builds on his illustrious college career and makes a name for himself in the NFL, then maybe the past two weeks will be history. Nothing more than a sentence or two in a Wikipedia entry—surrounded by paragraphs on a career that could potentially deserve Hall of Fame conservations.
You never know….