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Recruiting: Edmond North's Lindell Tate to walk on at Oklahoma

Running back missed all of his senior season with a knee injury, but his story of recovery isn't over yet.
by Jacob Unruh Published: February 4, 2014

/articleid/3930536/1/pictures/2248595">Photo - Edmond North running back Lindell Tate will soon have surgery to repair his torn ACL. After suffering the injury, Tate realized he was no longer covered by SoonerCare and had no way to get an MRI or the needed surgery. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Edmond North running back Lindell Tate will soon have surgery to repair his torn ACL. After suffering the injury, Tate realized he was no longer covered by SoonerCare and had no way to get an MRI or the needed surgery. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The odds of seeing the field as a walk-on are slim, and he knows that. But he's ready to face the challenge, much like he faced the knee injury.

“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.

by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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