Tate was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He attended Pope John Paul II High School, where he played football, baseball, and ran track. He rushed 140 times for 1,413 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior in 2006 to go along with 28 receptions for 510 yards and six touchdowns. He also had three interceptions on defense, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and was the Knights' punter. He was named as a Tennessee Division II first-team all-state pick in 2006 as an athlete by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and also by the Tennessee Football Coaches Association. His jersey would later be retired by Pope John Paul II High School.