Golden Tate became the highest drafted Notre Dame wide receiver since Derrick Mayes was selected 56th overall in the 1996 NFL Draft.

Notre Dame Football Press Conference Coverage

Dec. 7, 2009

University of Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and junior wide receiver Golden Tate announced in a joint press conference Monday that they intend to forgo their final season of eligibility and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

For a transcript of the press conference CLICK HERE.
For a podcast of the press conference CLICK HERE.
media-icon-photogallery.gif For a photo gallery of the press conference CLICK HERE.

University of Notre Dame junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen and junior wide receiver Golden Tate announced in a joint press conference Monday that they intend to forgo their final season of eligibility and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

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.

The 6-3, 223-pound quarterback from Westlake Village, Calif., just 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. Clausen 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.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank my family for everything they have done for me throughout my life,” Clausen said. “The Notre Dame experience has been a positive one and the highlight of my young career and wouldn’t change it for anything. I want to thank Coach Weis and Coach Powlus as well as all the other coaches and staff that include the trainers, doctors, equipment managers, academic support, and everyone associated with the football program, especially Joe Montana and Joe Theismann.

“I want to thank each one of my teammates for always being there for me through all the trials and tribulations the past 3 years. I would also like to thank my teachers and professors, fellow students, athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Father Jenkins and the entire Notre Dame Nation for all their support. Notre Dame has the best fans in the country. I will always be a Golden Domer For Life!

“I am excited for the future of the program and wish all my teammates and the new coaching staff the best of luck in the upcoming seasons.

“Growing up as a kid, one of my life long dreams has been to play in the NFL and with that being said, with the support of my family and coaches I will be forgoing my Senior year and entering the 2010 NFL Draft.”

Tate departs as one of the most prolific receivers in Notre Dame history recording 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 TDs. Tate set Notre Dame’s career receiving record in the final game of the 2009 season and also registered more games with at least 100 receiving yards in a season and in a career than any other Irish player. He ranks second in career touchdown receptions and is tied for third in career receptions.

An American Football Coaches Association All-American and Biletnikoff Award finalist, Tate flourished in his third season as a wide receiver totaling 93 catches for 1,496 yards and 15 receiving TDs. He set school records this year for most receptions and receiving yards in a season and tied the school mark for most TD receptions in a year. Tate added two rushing TDs and one punt return for a score and totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards, second most in Notre Dame history.

“First off, I would like to thank God my savior without him none if this would be possible,” Tate said. “”I would also like to thank my family, especially my mother and father for always being there. I have so much respect for someone who can raise a knucklehead like myself. They have done a great job.

“This was a very tough decision for me,” Tate said. “I have made so many great friends at Notre Dame and the coaching I received in football and baseball has been the best. But after talking with my family and Coach Weis, I am going to pursue my dream and enter next year’s NFL draft.

“I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am to Coach Weis and Coach Ianello and the rest of the football coaching staff. The same goes for Coach Schrage and the baseball coaching staff. Both programs are on the rise and I’ll miss not being apart of all the success both the football and baseball teams will enjoy next year.

“While I’m leaving before my senior year I fully intend to earn my degree in the near future. I am proud of all that I have been able to accomplish during my time here but my proudest moment will come when I accept my Notre Dame diploma. The fans and the students at Notre Dame are the best in the country and I’ll always be a member of the Fighting Irish family.”

Clausen and Tate were named co-MVPs at the annual football awards banquet last Friday and received their plaques from former Irish head coach Charlie Weis.

“First of all, I’d like to offer my personal congratulations and best wishes to both Golden and Jimmy, considering the decisions they announced today,” former Irish head coach Charlie Weis said. “Based on all the information that’s available, they’ve both put themselves in position to advance their football careers to the next level and have a great chance to be successful – and that’s a credit to how hard they’ve worked and what they’ve accomplished.

“To put it in perspective, go back to the 2007 season and consider where they were just two years ago compared to the level at which they played in 2009. They made big play after big play week after week this fall – and there’s no question they are two of the best players in the nation at their respective positions. Maybe the best part is that the arrow is pointing up for both of them, and there’s still an upside to both of their games. They leave behind great legacies, but they haven’t played their best football yet.

“I also challenged both of them to make sure they finish the work remaining on their degrees. I don’t think either of them came to Notre Dame without an appreciation for how a Notre Dame degree would benefit them. So I look forward to the day they’ll join me as Notre Dame alumni.”

Jimmy Clausen’s Notre Dame Records: Completions – Game (37, vs. Navy, 2009)
Completions per game – Career (19.9)
Completion Pct. – Season (68.0, 2009)
Completion Pct. – Career (62.6)
Efficiency Rating – Season (min. 50 att.) (161.4, 2009)
Efficiency Rating – Season (min. 100 att.) (161.4, 2009)
Yards per attempt – Game (17.50, vs. Nevada, 2009)
Lowest INT Pct. – Career (2.43)
Yards per Attempt – Game (15.8, vs. Nevada, 2009)

Clausen Ranks Second in:
Pass Attempts – Career (1,110)
Attempts per Game – Career (31.7)
Completions – Season (289, 2009)
Completions – Career (695)
Completions per Game – Season (24.1, 2009)
Efficiency Rating – Career (137.2)
Passing Yards – Season (3,722, 2009)
Passing Yards – Career (8,148)
Yards per Attempt – Game (15.42, vs. Hawaii, 2008)
Yards per Game – Season (310.2, 2009)
Touchdown Passes – Game (5, vs Hawaii, 2008)
Touchdown Passes – Career (60)
Consecutive Passes Without INT – Game (45, vs. Connecticut, 2009)
Consecutive Passes Without INT – Multiple Games (160, Washington-Navy, 2009)
Lowest INT Pct. – Season (0.94, 2009)
Total Plays – Career (1,307)
Total Yards – Season (3,627, 2009)
Total Yards – Career (7,793)
Yards per Attempt – Game (14.1, vs. Hawaii, 2008)
Total Yards per Game – Season (302.2, 2009)
Total Yards per Game – Career (222.7)
Points Responsible for – Career (390)
Points Responsible for per Game – Career (11.1)

Golden Tate’s Notre Dame Records:
Receptions – Season (93, 2009)
Receiving Yards – Season (1,496, 2009)
Receiving Yards – Career (2,707)
Receiving Yards per Game – Season (124.7, 2009)
Games with 100+ Yards – Season (9, 2009)
Games with 100+ Yards – Career (15)
Touchdown Receptions – Season (15, 2009)
Consecutive Games with a Touchdown Reception – Season/Career (8, 2009)

Tate Ranks Second in:
Receiving Yards – Game (244, vs. Washington, 2009)
All-Purpose Yards – Season (1,915, 2009)
Touchdown Receptions – Game (3, vs. Hawaii, 2008, and at Stanford, 2009)
Touchdown Receptions – Career (26)
Total Touchdowns – Season (18, 2009)

Take a look at some highlight packages and top plays from Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate taken out of the video vault…