An Interview With Tate Forcier

Submitted by TomVH on January 7th, 2009 at 4:50 PM

With a lot of the focus on the All American games, Michigan's newest quarterback has quietly made his way to Michigan. Tate Forcier arrived in Michigan today, and we spoke about what the future holds, and how he plans on getting himself, and the team on a winning track.

TOM: What are you most excited for on your way to Michigan?

TATE: Just getting started, it’s kind of hard because it’s different from San Diego. This is my new home, a new experience. I’m just going to have fun.

TOM: What’s the first thing Coach Rodriguez wants you to do football wise?

TATE: I’m supposed to meet with him tomorrow. I’m assuming he’s going to get me with Mike Barwis. I’ll be hurting the next day, but it will be good pain.

TOM: Have your brothers given you any advice on how to adjust, both to college life and to the speed of the game?

TATE: Both of them said it’s going to be different, but the first few days you’re going to think these guys are all amazing players. After a few practices it will start to slow down and you’ll learn what you can do and what you can’t do. They told me not to try to do too much, just take it one day at a time. Stay busy, and don’t ever catch yourself doing nothing.

TOM: Realistically, where do you want to be for spring ball? As far as knowing the playbook, weight training, and chemistry with the offense?

TATE: I want to satisfy the coaches. I want to be where they want me to be. I’m not sure the exact plans yet, but they’re not going to throw everything on me all at once. I’m just not going to rush it, that’s why I came out early, and just try to learn and have fun.

TOM: I read in another interview, you said you want to be like Colt McCoy. After that being said, is that who you would compare yourself to? Who do you think you see yourself really being like as a collegiate quarterback?

TATE: He’s nearly the same size as me; they don’t run a complete spread, but they run close to what Michigan does. When I watch all the college quarterbacks, he’s who I would describe myself as. He makes big plays, and he can run. I’m almost exactly like him.

TOM: Have you talked to any of the other offensive players yet, either current players or commits?

TATE: I have been talking to Willie Haulstead, and I’ve been trying to get him to commit. I’ve talked to him several times, it seems like it’s between Michigan and Florida State.  What I’ve been saying to everyone is this is not any other school, this is Michigan. People ask me why I chose Michigan, and the first thing I say is because it’s Michigan. You can’t really ask for anything more than what’s here, it’s the best of everything.

TOM: Your teammate, Brennan Clay, is a Michigan target for next year. Is there anything you’ve said to him about joining you, or is there anything you’ll do in the future?

TATE: I’ve been working on him since day one. He’s getting a lot of attention, he just got offered by USC last week. I want what’s best for him, but I have a good feeling if he was going to come back east, this would be a school he could choose. He’s going to come out for spring ball, so hopefully I can convince him. I know he loves Coach Smith and Rodriguez, and he likes Michigan. Talking with those guys is like extended family, they’re just really cool guys, which helps.

TOM: I know everyone is expecting a lot out of you in your first year, how do you deal with the expectations and pressure that comes along with this experience?

TATE: I’ve watched a lot of freshman play, and Coach Smith talked to me about this. I’m not going to try to do too much. I’m going to manage the team, rather than try to make the big play and taking a sack. The seniors and juniors make the plays, and I’ll just keep moving the chains. Take it one week at a time.

TOM: You’re going to get every chance to compete for the starting job, but it’s not going to be handed to you, what are you going to do to ensure you are the starting quarterback?

TATE: I can’t even answer that, there’s so much I have to do. I don’t care who you are, you have to earn it. I need to learn the playbook; work with the receivers, there’s so much. I can’t answer that until maybe spring ball, because I don’t know how to answer it.

TOM: What were your thoughts and initial feelings when you heard that Shavodrick Beaver had changed his commitment to Tulsa?

TATE: Shavodrick, I told Coach Smith I knew it was going to come. I almost felt like he was just trying to wait me out, to see what I would do. I think sometimes kids make their choice for the wrong reasons, and then this ends up happening.  Decommitting happens though, but this is Michigan, we should have no problem filling those spots, and we haven’t. As much as we would like to have those guys, we have found great replacements for them that are as good, if not better.

TOM: Have the coaches said anything to you about anything new they want to try, or anything on the offensive side that will change this year?

TATE: Coach Rodriguez says he’s going to be able to open up his offense more with me. With Threet and Sheridan you can’t really run the option with pro style quarterbacks. It’s hard to run the true spread without a dual threat quarterback. He’s going to have me running a lot. I just have to listen and learn.

TOM:  Throughout college there’s going to be a lot of adversity. With not being selected to the All American games, and the star rankings you experienced a little already. How do you use that to your advantage?

TATE: That makes me want to prove myself, and nothing against the recruiting services, but the star system is just opinion, it’s not fact. I have a lot to prove, and I’m not sure why I wasn’t rated higher than I am just based on stats. But, I don’t really care what the recruiting services say; I care what the coaches say. I was recruited by Michigan, so that’s proof enough for me. I just want to show everyone a freshman can do it.

TOM: I know you’re not there yet, but what are the keys to success for Michigan this year? Is there anything the coaches have been emphasizing?

TATE: For the team, I need to get more involved to answer that. For myself, it all comes on me, no one’s going to do it for me. I need to study, get all the guys together for drills. I have to go to them, they can’t come to me. Understanding why the coaches have the plays built the way they do is huge.

TOM: So, let’s put a hypothetical out there, or a look into the possible future. Tate Forcier is the starting quarterback, and the Wolverines are about to take the field. Everyone looks to you as the leader, what’s the message you give? How do you command your offense?

TATE: Show confidence. I’m going to have the same swagger as I always have. The quarterback is the leader for a reason. Michigan saw something special in me, and I’ll project that to the team. I want to be the same confident kid that I’ve always been.



January 2nd, 2009 at 8:10 PM ^

Interview was great. This kid really impresses me every time I read an interview. I hope he adjusts well on campus and has a great college career.


January 2nd, 2009 at 8:15 PM ^

nice tidbit on Beaver seemingly waiting Tate out. It seems the general consensus is that Tate was the QB the coaches all wanted most and both Beaver and Newsome knew that.


January 2nd, 2009 at 8:34 PM ^

We need to create a competitive atmosphere to be competitive. Tate wants to compete...Newsome and Shavodrick obviously wanted the easy way out. Not kids to build your program around. Welcome Tate and GO BLUE!!!


January 2nd, 2009 at 10:13 PM ^

Sorry, Tom. Excellent article and I hope Tate's magic works on Haulstead and Clay...but this is just retarded. Please don't pass judgement on kids you know nothing about. There might have been 100 reasons why they decommitted, "taking the easy way out" wasnt one of em.

Mountaineers Fanatic

January 14th, 2009 at 11:40 AM ^

Sure there could be 100 reasons why they decommitted, but "taking the easy way out" could just as easily be one of them. Almost everyone assumed that Beaver would be behind Forcier coming in and that there was a very good chance Beaver could even get redshirted. So, instead of competing with Forcier, and the others, for the starting job, maybe he did take the "easy way out" and go to another school where the competitiong for the starting job isn't as hard


January 2nd, 2009 at 8:50 PM ^

Thanks Tom.

And instead of starting a new thread, Sam Webb feels we have a good shot at Marcus Hall frome Cleveland Glennville. Do you? Have you heard anything?

Personally I don't but you never can be sure.


January 2nd, 2009 at 9:44 PM ^

He's been another weird situation. Initially I thought he was a lock for Ohio State, but it seems like that's changed, atleast on the surface. If I'm not mistaken Ted Ginn Sr. is his head coach, but I've heard that Rich Rod has done some positive things in Ginn's opinion. He had dropped us before, and now we're back on for a visit.

Sam Webb is at the AA game with them, so I'm not sure what he's heard. I think it's a good thing that he added us back on for a visit, I'm just not too sure what he's really thinking.

Craven Morehead

January 2nd, 2009 at 9:06 PM ^

Great questions and very interesting answers from Tate. He's a VERY well spoken young man. Look forward to seeing what he can do at QB. And would be amazing if he's able to get Haulstead to commit to the good guys.


January 2nd, 2009 at 9:57 PM ^

it seems like kids with high production in high school always seem to produce early and sizably after the immediate jump to the college level, even if they aren't highly ranked.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Michael Hart, and yes even Sam Mcguffie are examples. But does this translate to QBs?


January 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 PM ^

Thanks for the inteview. Great to hear Forcier's understanding of the situation at UM and his appreciation of the opportunity to play there.

Based on his words and the leadership ability they suggest coupled with his apparent talent, he will hopefully be the guy that RR can build the beginnings of a dynasty around.


January 3rd, 2009 at 12:43 AM ^

You just can't help but like the way he carries himself. Even better yet, the way he sees his position on this team and the high regard he holds for Michigan. This is the kind of kid you want to see in the winged helmet. He loves it and feels the way we do about this team. I am glad he is blue. Great article Tom. Good job as always.


January 3rd, 2009 at 1:53 AM ^

I love hearing Tate refer to Michigan with the pronoun "we." It just sounds right. It's also nice to hear him speak of the program with such reverence.

Good read.


January 3rd, 2009 at 10:33 AM ^

Most impressed when Tate replied with "I don't know" or "I can't answer that yet". This shows he's grounded and coachable. Really impressed with this kid - thanks Tom.

Elno Lewis

January 3rd, 2009 at 10:53 AM ^

Tate didn't miss one question. The kid is either very mature, very well coached or crazy lucky. It really does sound like he's got some serious public relations coaching--and I am not saying that is a bad thing. That is a long interview and Tate was suave as hell throughout. Tressel won't even let his starting QB talk to the press. Forget his name. What was it, the State of Ohio University, or something. Whatever.

Anyway, back on point. In my mind, the most important quality a succcessfull QB need have is POISE. Rocket arms are nice, but poise is better. Fake 40 speeds are great, but poise is better. People with poise are rarely caught off guard, improvise well and are inherently confident. They prepare well. Are cold blooded. They handle interviewers like they play the game. So...

Leadership has been brought up a couple times. Mostly that Tate could be lacking in that direction. Maybe someone could ask Tate about leadership. Ask him specifically about the behaviors demonstrated by a good leader, etc.


January 4th, 2009 at 2:53 AM ^

Hey that was a really good interview, thanks for posting that. I really like Forcier's attitude, especially about not trying to make big plays, but just keep the chains moving.


January 5th, 2009 at 11:48 AM ^

I remember being cautiously optimistic when Tate first popped on the radar. I was impressed with his film and am now even more impressed with how he handled himself in this interview.

I hope fans are patient with him.


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