As a junior at Stephen Decatur High School, Tate set the Maryland state single-season rushing record with 2,886 yards and 41 touchdowns, averaging 221.4 yards per game. His performance earned him first-team all-state honors. As a senior year transfer at Snow Hill High School, he ran for 2,069 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 12.9 yards per carry while leading Snow Hill to a state runner-up finish. In 37 career games, Tate rushed 542 times for 5,920 yards and 78 touchdowns, averaging 10.9 yards per carry and 160 yards per game. He also had 210 career receiving yards. Tate also set the Maryland state records for both career yards rushing (5,920) and totally career offensive yards (6,123). For his senior performance, he was awarded the Gatorade State Player of the year and was a consensus all-state pick. He was ranked No. 6 nationally among running backs and the No. 5 player from the state of Maryland by Rivals.com.
Upon graduation from Snow Hill High School, Tate received scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Penn State, Maryland, North Carolina and many more before accepting a scholarship to Auburn University. Ultimately, Tate chose Auburn because of its history of successful running backs
Tate was drafted in the 2nd round in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Most projected Tate to be picked somewhere in the early to middle of the second round, and recognizing his value at pick 58, the Texans aggressively traded up to draft him. This is the only time in team history that the Texans have drafted a running back earlier than the third round.
During the Texans pre season opener in 2010, Tate broke his ankle and was placed on injured reserve.. He came back in 2011, and in his first game of the season, Tate rushed for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. The second game resulted in 103 rushing yards, and 32 receiving.
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