Jackson Tate started the year by hurdling a defender and making the No. 1 play on Sports Center.
But it’s been his play all year that’s got him on the verge of an AISA record, and the Edgewood Wildcats in the Class AA semifinals against Clarke Prep on Friday.
Tate’s 1,470 receiving yards this season is just 59 yards shy of former Edgewood star Rod Boykin’s AISA record mark of 1,529. Boykin – who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2013 – was a senior when Tate started his career as an eighth grader.
“It’d be an honor. Rod Boykin is one of the best guys I’ve seen at Edgewood,” Tate said. “But I’m not really thinking about it. If it does happen, it’s a good thing, but I’m just going to try to catch every ball that comes my way and help my team.”
Along with his 1,470 yards, the junior receiver has 60 catches and 22 touchdown catches this season. He’s caught at least three passes and one touchdown in every game this season, which has come as no surprise to coach Bobby Carr.
“I know this, (quarterback) Nathan (Rourke) loves him. Before that, Taylor Hawthorne loved him. And before that, Dylan Ingram loved him. He’s just a phenomenal player. He makes it easy to call plays,” Carr said. “I’ve always said this: When the game’s on the line, you don’t think about the play, you think of the player. And I can promise if the game’s on the line, we’re figuring a way to get the ball in Jackson Tate’s hands, because he’s a playmaker.”
Edgewood is seeking its sixth straight state championship and looking to extend its state-record winning streak to 70 games against a familiar foe. The Wildcats defeated Clarke Prep for state championships in 2012 and 2013.