Literally. His name is Golden. And somewhat unfairly, his amazing season is being slightly over-looked due to mounting losses and speculation about Weis’ job security.
If ND was even decent, Golden Tate would still be (and frankly, still should be) in the Heisman race in a major way. As it is, he should still be invited to the ceremony.
I don’t remember a player at ND that has made such a huge impact, and has made so many amazing, highlight-reel-worth plays. Probably The Rocket was the last guy like this at ND. It’s special to watch, and it’s a shame that it’s all getting marred by the team’s struggle to succeed.
Golden Tate is the best WR in the nation, and probably the best athlete. I’m sure there are some that will dispute it, but Mark Ingram has nothing on Tate. Other than playing for a team with a better record.
Tate is 4th in total yards among WRs on the season, and is poised to break the Shark’s single-season record for receiving yards next week. He’s also tied for 2nd in total TD catches in ND history, and could break that record this year as well.
Among WR’s with 50+ catches, he’s 4th in YPC, and among those with 70+ catches, he’s 2nd. He’s also tied for 3rd in TDs among all WRs, and he’s averaging 6.9 yards per run when he gets the ball on the ground, and has added 2 TDs rushing.
More than anything, he does the fantastic. The end-of-the-half TD catch against WSU. The Punt Return TD against Pitt. The “Go ahead and hit me Mays” hit in the end zone where NFL-bound-all-world USC Safety Mays bounced off Tate like Tate was made out of steel. The list goes on and on.
The kid produces, and produces in a big time, flashy way. Not something many people associated with ND in the recent past. But now that’s changed.
Thanks to Golden.
He may go pro this year, and who could argue with the decision? Lots of money, his draft stock rising, CBA negotiation implications, potential coaching change…But he may also stay another year. He’s developed a ton over the past year, but, remarkably, is still somewhat raw. There are other reasons to stay – a degree, a chance at the Heisman, a chance at helping ND really get it going again, improving his draft stock even more.
I’m really hoping the kid sticks around. Selfishly, and not really because he’s such an asset to the team and because he’ll be a senior leader and will help ND win games. But really, because he’s just so damn fun to watch.