It’s February, so Golden Tate is relaxing. As a receiver for the Lions, this is his offseason.
But as a teenager, he would have imagined his season just starting right now.
Tate was an all-region center fielder at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Despite missing most of his high school senior season with a thumb jerseys china wholesale injury, Tate was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 42nd round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He opted to attend Notre Dame, where he played football and baseball.
As a freshman, he batted .262 for the Fighting Irish in 18 games and 42 at-bats. Tate took a big jump as a sophomore, batting .329 in 55 games — starting 54 — and 222 at-bats, but that was the end of Tate’s baseball career. In his junior football season, Tate broke out for 93 receptions, 1,496 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. He declared for the draft with a year of eligibility left and two in baseball.
The Seahawks drafted him No. 60 overall in 2010. While Tate was reporting to Seattle, the San Francisco Giants also selected him in the 50th round of the MLB Draft.
“I was good enough to start at a major college,” Tate says. “I wouldn’t say I was great. I struggled at hitting curveballs. My speed was what got me around. I’d hit it to the left side and just let myself run, and that was what I did. I thought I had a chance to play professional ball, but my love for football overtook that. But baseball was my first love. I was drafted out of high school to the Diamondbacks and I was drafted also my rookie season by the Giants, the year they won the World Series. I was pissed off at myself, like, ‘Did I just miss out on a World Series?’ Little did I know that two years later I was going to win my own Super Bowl.”
The decision to play football has worked out for Tate. In addition to the Super Bowl title, he has made a Pro Bowl and earned roughly $27 million in salary. He and Russell Wilson would have made a heck of a baseball duo during their time together in Seattle.
Meanwhile, some of Tate’s teammates have excelled at baseball. He played high school baseball with Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray. “That dude throws gas,” he says of Gray.
Tate played at Notre Dame with A.J. Pollock. Both Gray and Pollock made the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. It’s unknown if they made the Tate connection.
Tate spoke to ThePostGame on behalf of Hershey’s Gold while wearing a gold jersey (get it?). Hershey’s Gold is giving away free candy bars based on gold medals won by the United States at the PyeongChang Olympics.
There were smiles and laughs and hugs, and as is usually the case with Bo Davis, jokes — lots of jokes.
When Alabama defensive tackle Joshua Frazier sat down with his old line coach, Bo Davis, at the NFL combine this week, Frazier said the two chopped it up like old times.
“He’s a jokester, so he’s going to joke with me,” Frazier said. “He was probably my easiest interview because he just already knew who I was, so he was just writing down stuff about my family, this and that. ‘How’s your mom?’ He’s met all my people, he was part of my recruitment process. He came to my high school, came to my in-home visits, so he already knows.”
Davis replaced Kris Kocurek as Detroit Lions defensive line coach last month, and the longtime college assistant comes with a reputation as an excellent teacher and fiery leader who’s revered by his players.
Frazier called Davis, who coached the Crimson Tide’s defensive line from 2007-10 and again in 2014-15, “probably one of the best coaches to ever do it,” and said Davis is a big reason why he’s an NFL prospect today even though the two haven’t worked together in more than two years.
“He’s helped me so much I can’t even fathom,” Frazier said. “He would get on me every single day, pound me, pound me, pound me, and it just sometimes I just wouldn’t recognize why I kept messing up on this or that, but he just stuck with me and believed in me and saw that potential in me. And he knew I could get to this point right now, so he’s a big part of why I’m here today.”
Fellow Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, one of the top interior defenders in this year’s draft, said Davis endeared himself to players with a tough love approach on and off the field.
“I loved Coach Bo,” Payne said Saturday. “He taught me everything I know. He’s going to coach you hard and love you hard and he’s just going to make sure you know what to do and he’s not going to put you out there unless you do. I just thank him for just grooming me to be the person I am today.”