November 13, 2008

Tate taking his time

Although Tennessee running back Wesley Tate has yet to officially set dates for the five official visits he's planning to take, he knows one location will likely be Purdue.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Tate, a native of Hendersonville, holds offers from Purdue, Stanford and Vanderbilt, among others. He's visited Purdue before, having been to West Lafayette for an unofficial as a junior.

"I think it's a good program," Tate said. "I know they have a new coach coming in. I've talked to several people who have coached with (Danny Hope) and they said he likes to run the ball. And he plays the best players, no matter what classification you are: senior, junior, freshman, whatever.

"Most of what I hear is positive. I know they are struggling right now, but I think they'll be back on the rise next year."

Tate knows struggles; his high school football career is over, with Pope John Paul II's season ending with a 3-7 record. Tate had a solid individual season, however, rushing for 1,300 yards and nearly 20 touchdowns.

Tate's since moved on to basketball season, which will be followed by track, where he will attempt to defend his state championship in the 100-meters and place one spot better in the 200, after back-to-back state runner-up finishes. Tate won the 100 in 11-seconds flat, although his best time is a 10.8.

"It wasn't my best," he said of his title-winning sprint, "but it got the job done."

Tate plans to mix in his official visits as well, saying he expects to take the five allowed. He's in no rush to decide and wants to see what other schools - most notably Georgia Tech and perhaps Penn State, who have both shown some interest - will do down the stretch. A February verbal isn't out of the question.

"I'll wait 'til the contact period really starts and see who's really interested, things like that," Tate. "So I'll probably just going to take my time."

In the meantime, Tate's not yet ready to say which schools are at the top of his list.

"I haven't eliminated any schools," he said. "I'm still looking at all the schools that have offered me and seeing if other schools will too."

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