Carnell Tate Ohio State Buckeyes Wide Receiver

Expectations For Himself Pushing Carnell Tate Forward

As a five-star recruit in the 2023 class, Carnell Tate is accustomed to expectations at this point. Mostly because he’s always had expectations for himself.

Sometimes those expectations can be a burden. Other times they can be a confidence builder.

Last August, Ohio State junior All-American wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. was sitting through a media session answering a constant peppering of questions. It was a day like any other.

But then Harrison was asked about Carnell Tate, who was still just a true freshman receiver at the time and had not yet played in a game as a Buckeye.

Carnell’s gonna be special, man, I think,” Harrison said. “Carnell’s probably at a better point right now than I was going into my sophomore year. So I mean, I think he’s amazing. He handles his business. He’s always in the right spot, catches the ball and runs great routes. So I’m excited to really see what his career looks like. I think he’ll be one of the best receivers to ever come to Ohio State.”

Harrison’s words then had to be clarified.

You mean you’re saying right now he’s ahead of where you were last year as a sophomore? The same year you had 77 catches for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns?



Tate’s freshman season featured quality playing time. He finished with 18 catches for 264 yards and one touchdown.

That may not sound like a lot, but he became just the fifth true freshman Ohio State wide receiver in the last 40+ years to catch at least 15 passes in a season. He joined Cris Carter, David Boston, Ted Ginn, Jr., and Garrett Wilson.

Not too shabby.

Carnell Tate spoke with reporters on Monday and was asked what those words from Harrison meant to him.

“It helped me build my confidence a lot,” he said. “It let me know that I was on the right path, doing the right things. And having a head start on him, his sophomore year he had a great year, so hopefully I can go top that or be as good as that. So it definitely built confidence for me.”

Those words from Harrison came about a month after Tate’s mother Ashley Griggs was shot and killed in Chicago. Tate relied on his teammates and coaches to get him through the most difficult time in his life. He has emerged stronger, but is still dealing with the loss.

The expectations he has for himself have carried him through devastating losses and his early accomplishments. And he’s just getting started.

The Buckeyes are replacing a pair of starting receivers this year, which includes the aforementioned Harrison. Tate is expected to be one of the receivers who steps into a starting role, and he can see that sentiment building among his coaches.

“I can definitely sense that,” he said. “The coaches are telling me, ‘We’re gonna need you. We need you to make the plays. We’re going to need some energy out of you.’ So I can definitely sense me having a bigger role this season.”

Tate spent the offseason getting bigger, stronger, and faster. He has also spent a great deal of time working on his route running and being better at the top of his routes. Basically, all of the little things that will separate him from other receivers — as well as defenders.

But he hasn’t changed his approach to this year. He is still a young player looking to prove himself, no matter what Marvin Harrison, Jr. has said about him or how his coaches are counting on him. He’s going to continue doing the things that have earned him the raves and responsibilities.

“I’m pretty much going in with the same mindset,” he said. “I’m trying to play. I’m trying to have a breakout year. Just like last year, I want to play. So I don’t really think anything’s changed. I’m still trying to go out there and make plays and make a name for myself.”

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