Clate was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during his junior year of college at Clemson, after playing an entire season of baseball with a lump on his neck. On the day of his first chemotherapy, Clate was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, but had to decline to finish treatment. Clate returned to college once chemotherapy was over and graduated with a degree in sports management. He was then drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 20th round.