“Coach (Josh) Heupel, we emailed each other and we were talking about this,” Tate said. “He said everybody has to earn it, so that's what I'm going to do.
“(The injury) helped me a lot; just pushing myself to the limit every time I do something. If I want it, I'll go get it. That's what's going to be in my head throughout this whole journey.”
Burger believes Tate can work his way on the field. The first-year coach was impressed with Tate's ability in summer workouts and scrimmages.
So, it was extremely crushing to watch Tate go down for the season and lose his chance to impress recruiters.
“If he had stayed healthy the whole year, in my opinion, there would have been offers,” Burger said. “He would have been special on the football field. There's some of those kids you say defenses don't have an answer for, and he would have been that kind of kid.”
As a junior, Tate scored just one rushing touchdown in limited action in the backfield. He did have 36 tackles and two interceptions at defensive back. Tate is expected to be a running back for the Sooners.
It may take him some time to climb the depth chart, though. But he's OK with that as long as his story continues.
“I still got my four years up there,” Tate said with a smile.