Jimbo Fisher and his coaching staff received good news Tuesday when Auden Tate verbally committed to the Seminoles during a short ceremony at Tampa (Fla.) Wharton High School. Tate is a 6'4, 200 pound, three-star receiver who has seen his stock rise considerably during the spring evaluation period and the summer camp circuit.
Tate picked Florida State over offers from Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Miami, Maryland, Louisville, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin, to name a few.
He is the second receiver publicly committed to the Seminoles in the class of 2015, joining Nyquan Murray, of Tampa. Da'Vante Phillips, of Miami (Fla.) Central, is also fully expected to join former Central teammate Dalvin Cook in Tallahassee, as well, though he has not yet publicly announced a commitment. FSU plans to take three to four receivers in the 2015 class.
The decision for Florida State did not come as a surprise, as Florida State sources felt very strong about Tate for quite a while.
"That's one of the few visits that I really liked," Tate said. "The coaches didn't promise me nothing, and told me I could come work for a spot. At receiver, they do real good with spreading the ball around."
Tate is not a speed merchant, but he can help the program in a number of ways. There are always a few concerns with big receivers. Some big receivers try to play like smaller receivers with too much finesse. Other big receivers, like young big men in basketball, have not acclimated themselves to their bodies.
But not with Tate. Tate plays big.
He understands how his big body works. He can box out defenders. He has strong hands attached to long arms that extend out from his frame, catching the football away from his body, out of reach of a defender located beyond him. And he can elevate.
He can be a weapon for Florida State on third down when nobody is running wide open and he gets inside of a cornerback on a slant. And in the red zone, where space is reduced, Tate can get up and get the football. Tate won't create a lot of explosive plays, but he can keep the punt and field goal teams off the field, in the fashion that Kelvin Benjamin did. He can also be an excellent blocker.
Unsurprisingly, this is the role on which Florida State's receiver coach Lawrence Dawsey, its Tampa-area recruiter, is pitching Tate.
"[Coach Dawsey] wants me to be the mis-match receiver, on smaller corners, inside, outside," Tate said. "Like Kelvin Benjamin. I watched him and how they used him and his body when they throw him the ball."