Bold statements from a bold athlete. But of course, we are talking about a competitor that once used the Michigan State marching band as his own personal diving pool.
Sure, Tate expects to run a 40-yard dash in a respectable 4.5 or less, but he plays the game of football like a turbo button is being pressed down, and unlike in NCAA 2010, he never seems to get tired. And of course, he has the stats to back up the claims too.
"It is a funny story actually," said Tate. "I spoke with Coach Weis before we played a down, even before camp. And he told me unless I had 1,500 yards, and about 15-16 touchdowns, that I should not leave early. Well, I had about 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns."
But now Tate finds himself in unfamiliar territory, no longer in the college confines of South Bend, Indiana, spending his February shagging fly balls in preparation for another baseball season. That is right, the same athlete that burned Southern California for two touchdowns and 117 total receiving yards, also played centerfield for the Fighting Irish baseball team. After 55 games, Tate hit for .329 and scored 45 runs.
By the looks of it, Tate is not just happy to be one of 329 players invited to the Combine.
"I am coming into the NFL working," said Tate. "I am trying to make a name for myself and be successful. One of the wristbands that I wear, which actually broke this morning when I took it off, said don't be satisfied. Coach Rob Ianello (current Akron head coach) gave it to all of the receivers and it kind of became my motto."
"Don't be satisfied with just getting invited to the combine. Don't be satisfied with just getting drafted. Don't be satisfied with just playing. I want to be great. I want to win Super Bowls, go to Pro Bowls, and be in the Hall of Fame. So I think my mind set is on the right path."
The look of desire on Tate's face when talking about his ambitions to never have his thirst for success quenched showed not arrogance or cockiness, but determination. So it is understandable that teams in need of a receiver could easily fall in love with Tate, who can be argued as the top receiver of the junior class of 2011.
And there are many teams lining up. The Pats, Steelers, 49ers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Packers, Bucs, Colts, Jets, Raiders, Lions, Panthers, Chiefs, Bengals, Ravens, and Rams all have interviews set with Tate over the course of the NFL Combine.
All of them undoubtedly are interested in a receiver that shows good speed, hands, and above-average ability to break tackles. Sound familiar? That's because Tate views himself as a similar player to North Carolina Panthers star receiver Steve Smith.
"A lot of you all probably think the same thing," said Tate. "Similar size, similar built, very physical, and not afraid to go up the middle. I model my game after him."
Not to mention that Tate already benefits a high draft stock to performing in a pro-style offense from former Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis. And in a perfect world, Tate would envision himself joining a Weis offense once again. After all, the offensive genius was the main reason as to why Tate decided to play college football in the cold winters of South Bend, Indiana.
"It is always going to be a dream to play for a head coach that taught me to be a receiver," said Tate.
"You know to be honest, I want to play for somebody that believes I can help next year. I want to come in and make a difference right away, helping them go to a Super Bowl."
But unfortunately for Tate, no matter where he lands, it is doubtful a marching band will be in the back of the end zone.