I was lucky enough to sit down with Golden Tate for a few minutes on Friday thanks to the kind folks over at Steiner Sports. I’ll have a full article written up on my sit down with Golden, but for now, here is the full transcript from the interview.
On his best/worst football moment at Notre Dame:
My best football memory would be my first touchdown in 2007 against Purdue. I think it was my first legitimate catch and also my first game that I had a legitimate touchdown so I would say that was my best. My worst memory would also be my freshman year. It was frustrating not playing much and learning the game and we also didn’t have a good season so that was my most frustrating moment.
On his best/worst non football related moment at Notre Dame:
Developing those relationships. One of the reasons you go to Notre Dame is to develop relationships with different people. I was fortunate to meet a lot of men and women who were important in society and to Notre Dame so that’s my best. My worst would just be waking up in the morning for a 6:00 workout in the snow. That happened more times than not.
On off-season workouts kicking off at 5:00 AM now under Brian Kelly.
Coach Kelly is pretty intense from what I hear. I’ve talked to a bunch of guys, I’ve talked to a few of the coaches and a few of the staff who were there when I was there and they don’t say anything negative, they don’t say anything positive, they just say its different. I think coach Kelly will be good for the program and I’m excited to see how he does.
On if he had to go through recruiting again would he pick ND all over?
Absolutely. That’s one thing about Notre Dame – the people. The people make Notre Dame. The people are high character people – very passionate about their educations and football. It’s a great environment to be around and I think it’s what a lot of people like to surround themselves with.
On some of the changes being made he wishes would have been there while he was at Notre Dame
I definitely wish I was there have the training table because there probably would be a lot more muscle here right now. The game room, I think that’s a good outlet for after practice you want to hang out. After a long day at school you don’t want to go back to your dorm you want to go hang out, watch some TV, play some pool, play some ping pong, darts, air hockey so I think it’s a good outlet if you’re every having a bad day or just want to hang around the fellas. I think it’s definitely something that will keep the athletes out of trouble.
On the young receivers who stepping up with him gone next season.
I think Duval Kamara is going to have a good year. I’m interested to see Theo Riddick. They moved him to receiver so I’m interested to see how he does. I was kind of the same situation – played running back now he’s getting moved to receiver so hopefully he catches on a little faster than I did, but I definitely think he’s a playmaker so I’m excited to see him with the ball in his hands. Floyd’s a great player. I’m excited to see what he can do. He’s going to lead the wide receiver corps.
From head to toe, the receivers are looking good. I definitely saw Deion (Walker) make some jumps throughout the season and he kept a great attitude despite not playing much. Goody’s a great athlete. One of the guys I’m most impressed with is Roby Toma. The guy plays hard, he can block, he can catch anything that comes his way, he can run.
I’m interested to see all those guys play. With coach Kelly’s offense, it’s a spread offense so you need more than two receivers. You need four or five or possibly six.
On Riddick moving from RB to WR.
I think this year he’ll be more learning the position, but he’ll also have Floyd there working with him and coach Kelly will probably work with him also. I definitely think that he’s a playmaker and that’s he going to be good for the program so I’m interested to see how that works out.
On if he could have one play back in his career to do over.
I never really thought about that question, but I’d say USC this year actually. We were in the red zone and a slant was called. I didn’t get a good release on my route so it was an incompletion when it could have been a touchdown to tie the ball game so that’s one I wish I could have back and do over.
On if he is looking at any teams in particular or if he followed any teams closely growing up.
I’m not really looking at any teams, they’re all looking at me I guess. I don’t really have a say where I go. Growing up I just watched whoever came on TV. There wasn’t a particular team that I followed.
On the one area of his game he thinks he needs to improve the most at the NFL level.
There’s not one that I’d focus on, there’s three on. That’s route running, blocking, and getting off the press. Those are the things I think I need to work on the most. I’m excited to have an off-season where I can work with the coaches and the veterans to help me get better at that.
On how close he was to coming back to Notre Dame for his senior season.
It was definitely a close call. I just evaluated what was best for me at that point. I’ve accomplished a lot of things at Notre Dame. It would have been tough to have a better season than I did last year considering coach Weis leaving and my quarterback who I’ve been throwing with for three years so I think it would have been tough. I definitely could have accomplished it, but it’s about timing. It was my time to leave. I accomplished a lot as I said earlier and we thought the best choice was to leave
On whose departure had a bigger impact on his decision to leave early – Charlie Weis or Jimmy Clausen.
They both had an equal impact. I spoke with coach Weis before the season and he said unless you have 1,500 yards and about 17 touchdowns, I wouldn’t leave. Once the season ended I was right at that mark so even before the season he predicted that so it was my time to leave we thought.
On if he still keeps in touch with coach Weis now that he is back in the NFL.
Absolutely. I spoke with him on my way over here. I gave him a call to see how he’s doing. He’s probably going to come back to South Bend pretty soon so I’m going to try to meet as soon as I can.
On what his first purchase would be once he signs his first contract.
Probably a car. Hopefully I’ll be in a situation where I can get a nice car.
On what he plans to do with the gold cleats he wore at Notre Dame’s Pro Day.
Yeah, I’m going to keep those forever. I may not wear them much after the next few weeks. Definitely going to keep them with me. I think they’re good luck and they’re gold.
Thanks again to the people at Steiner Sports for setting this up for me. They have a number of Golden Tate autographed collectibles on sale this weekend and have also given the readers of UHND a special offer this weekend.
I really wish he was stickin’ around for another year.
W-L Records aren’t everything…it’s hard to realize that sometimes, but when you hear kids like Golden talk about Notre Dame like this, and the relationships and people were what made his experience great, it puts it back in perspective.
That is what makes this University great. He doesn’t talk about Weis making him go there but the University and what it stands for and the people. Great Man I wish him all the best in the NFL.
Classy guy. I’ll miss him, but all the best in the pros. He’ll be a good one.