Dec. 15, 2009
NEW YORK - University of Notre Dame junior wide receiver Golden Tate was named to the Sporting News All-America first team on Tuesday. Junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and senior center Eric Olsen were also named to the third team. With three selections on one of the three teams, only Alabama, Florida and Texas had more honored by the publication.
Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) now has made four of the five teams used to determine the consensus All-America designation. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Walter Camp Football Foundation have also named him a first-team All-American. If Tate's named to the Associated Press team, he will become Notre Dame's first unanimous All-American since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002. Before that you have to go back to 1993 to find another unanimous pick in offensive lineman Aaron Taylor.
The 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner, Tate 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 contests for Notre Dame.
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.
Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif.), who also recently stated his intention to enter the upcoming NFL draft, completed his best season at Notre Dame as he completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards with 28 TDs and only four interceptions in 2009. He set a school record by passing for at least 300 yards in seven games and his four fourth-quarter comebacks for victories are the most in a season by an Irish quarterback.
Clausen leaves Notre Dame ranked first or second in 32 passing categories, including tops in career completion percentage, completions per game for a career and tied for first in lowest interception percentage over a career. He completed 695 of 1,110 pass attempts for 8,148 yards with 60 touchdowns and 27 interceptions while starting 34 of 35 games played for the Irish.
Olsen (Staten Island, N.Y.) switched from guard to center in his final season and graded out best among Notre Dame's offensive linemen in 2009. He allowed only one sack in over 450 pass attempts this season and helped Irish running backs and wide receivers average 5.0 yards per carry this season. Olsen was also presented the Guardian of the Year Award at the recent Notre Dame football banquet, given annually to the top offensive lineman. The Guardian Life Insurance Company, a sponsor of Irish football on ISP Sports radio broadcasts, presents the award.
2009 Sporting News All-America Teams
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