Lost in the shuffle today, wide receiver Golden Tate made Notre Dame history today, winning the Biletnikoff Award and being named to the first team of the Walter Camp All-American team.
Here’s the official release:
Notre Dame junior wide receiver Golden Tate was not only named Walter Camp First Team All-American, but he also captured the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver, both
announced tonight (Thursday, Dec. 10) at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Walt Disney World Resort.
Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville) recently capped off the best receiving season in Notre Dame football history. He finished with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns in 2009. Tate added two rushing touchdowns, one punt return for a score and totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards, second most in Irish single-season history.
Tate equaled or surpassed eight school records this year, including most catches and receiving yards in a season, tied for most touchdown catches in a season, most receiving yards in a career, most 100-yard receiving games in a season and career, most receiving yards per game in a season and tied for most consecutive games with a touchdown reception.
Tate ranks in the top eight nationally in nine different statistical categories and no wide receiver had more games with at least 100 receiving yards this year than Tate’s nine. He also scored at least one touchdown in each of the final 11 contest s for Notre Dame.
The American Football Coaches Association has already named Tate, who shared Irish season MVP honors with junior QB Jimmy Clausen, a first-team All-American.
Tate, who recently declared his intention to enter the 2010 NFL draft, departs as the most prolific receiver in Notre Dame history. He recorded 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 touchdowns. Tate ranks second in career touchdown receptions and is tied for third in career receptions.
Tate is the first Irish player to be named Walter Camp First Team All-American since defensive back Shane Walton received the honor following the 2002 season. He is also the first Notre Dame offensive player to earn first-team honors from Walter Camp since offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal in 1998. In fact, Tate is the first Irish wideout to accomplish the feat since Raghib Ismail in 1990.
Tate is the first Notre Dame receiver to take home the Biletnikoff Award. Former All-American Jeff Samardzija was a two-time finalist (2005, 2006), while Derrick Mayes was a two-time semifinalist (1994, 1995).
On a day where Brian Kelly unofficially joins the fold as the Irish head coach, it’ll be tough to say goodbye to Tate, who rightfully earned these accolades as one of the most electric players this season in college football.
(It sure would’ve been fun to see what Kelly would’ve done with Tate…)