September 30, 2007

Tate hits 'fast track' into Irish offense

It's not so much a learning curve as it is a straight line.

That might be the only direction Golden Tate knows how to run right now, but if Charlie Weis gets his way this week, the freshman wide receiver will soon do more than sprint down the sidelines searching for jump balls from Notre Dame's quarterbacks.

A little bit of that is just fine too of course, particularly after Tate's three catches netted 104 yards and one touchdown against Purdue. But Weis doesn't want Tate to turn into a one-trick pass catcher.

"Now if he wants to play more on a more consistent basis, he's going to have to do all the things, not just run by people on every play," Weis said Sunday, a message he delivered to Tate in the locker room after the 33-19 Irish loss to the Boilermakers. "We've been working on fast tracking him and obviously when you go out there and make some plays like he did yesterday, we'll try to fast track him even more.

"I think you'll see more and more of Golden here every week."

While Tate's production probably came as a surprise to Purdue, the freshman's play-making ability has been on display in Irish practices for weeks.

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