Keep an eye on Tate at the next level

You gotta love Ben Tate's attitude.

There's a swagger about him that's genuine and not trumped up. And like most great athletes, he's pretty skilled at finding all the motivation he needs.

The former Auburn tailback helped himself at the NFL combine last week with his 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, the third fastest time among running backs. He also had a 40.5-inch vertical leap, which was second among running backs, and tied for the most reps on the bench-press among running backs with 26.

Still, the highest you're seeing the 220-pound Tate projected in the upcoming NFL draft is the third round, which is probably fitting. Last season, with all the strong performances by running backs in the SEC, Tate sort of got lost in the shadows despite his 1,362 yards rushing.

That's OK, though, because that underdog role drives him, and will only pay dividends at the next level.

He chose not to run again during Auburn's pro timing day on Tuesday, and who could blame him given his time in Indianapolis?

But he made it clear that he's pushing as hard as ever.

"I think I've been underestimated my whole career," Tate told reporters. "It drives me. It keeps me working hard. I don't mind being the underdog. One day the underdog will be on top."