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May 30, 2006

One of Tennessee's best high on USC

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Hendersonville (Tenn.) Pope John Paul II athlete Golden Tate is one of the best overall prospects in the state of Tennessee this year, and he currently has seven teams on his mind.

"Alabama, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Vandy, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Miami are the ones I'm thinking about the hardest as of today," the 5-foot-11, 172-pound Tate said. "I'm not saying other schools are out of it are anything. Those are just the ones highest on my mind right now."

Tate could take his first unofficial visit of the spring this weekend.

"I'm playing in a baseball tournament in Alabama, and I might go by and visit Alabama if it's close enough," he said. "They have a great program. They're in the SEC, and they're telling me I can play football and baseball if I go there. It's also pretty close to home."

The South Carolina Gamecocks also appeal to Tate, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.

"They have Steve Spurrier now, so you know they're going to be running an exciting offense. They're also in the SEC like Alabama, and they've told me I can play both sports. I'd like to take a visit down there, but I'm so busy with baseball that I don't know when I can do it."

Notre Dame and Miami round out the list of schools Tate commented on.

"Notre Dame is a Catholic school like my high school, so that would be an easy move for me. They have Charlie Weis now, and they have a great tradition there. I just love Miami. I've always just loved what they do."

Tate believes he brings several strengths to the table as a football player.

"My speed, and my ability to switch directions without losing any of my speed. I'm quick, and think I'm a threat to score from any place on the field no matter what position I'm playing."

Tate, who plans to commit sometime close to signing day, will choose his school based on multiple aspects of each school.

"My chances for playing time as a freshman, the academic reputation of each school and the number of players they put into the NFL. Also my relationship with the coaches. Out of the schools I named, I'd say Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Alabama and Vandy stand out the most."

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