“I want to be remembered as the guy who leaves it all on the field.” That’s what Tate Moore-Jacobs told me as we sat down for our interview at Rifkin Café. As a man who leads through is actions, Moore-Jacobs has certainly left it all on the field as he was recently named a pre-season All-American by the Sporting News.
“I was very surprised by coach Sheptock calling me and saying I had received the award,” Moore-Jacobs said. “It actually took a while to settle in.”
But settling in is not a problem for the sophomore starting middle linebacker. According to Wilkes sports information, through his first 12 collegiate games he has only once dipped below the double digit tackle mark. Through this year’s first two games Moore-Jacobs has tacked on 21 tackles including one interception.
When asked about the pressures of following up such a stellar freshmen season and becoming an All-American, he felt
“I try to look past it and become better and better every game,” Moore-Jacobs said.
The Cedar Cliff High School graduate gives credit to many people and experiences that have helped him improve, “Playing in a tough league in high school as well as Coach Sheptock’s coaching definitely has made me get better with every game.”
Moore-Jacobs stepped into his starting role as a freshman and hasn’t looked back. His first college game saw him tally 13 tackles including one for loss. In his 2010 campaign alone Moore-Jacobs totaled 145 total tackles with 79 of them being solo tackles. He also had 8.5 tackles for a loss. Tate doubled last year’s interception total from last year with his interception versus Susquehanna in this season’s opener.
Moore-Jacobs also said that one of his biggest inspirations to play is his grandmother, Kathy Packer, who is a breast cancer survivor. He also says his football hero is Chicago Bear’s great Walter Payton.
“I took number 34 (his jersey number) because it was Walter’s famous number, and since my high school number forty four is retired here at Wilkes, I wanted to start a new legacy.”
Moore-Jacobs legacy extends beyond football as well. Along with being a very likeable and outgoing guy, Moore-Jacobs also wrestled and ran track in high school.
“Wrestling definitely helped me with football,” Moore-Jacobs said. “It was just you and another guy on the mat, and his one goal was to embarrass you. Now when I step on the field I imagine the offense is trying to embarrass me, and it gets me hyped up.”
Although Tate is hesitant to say it, it is very apparent that he is quickly becoming a leader on the team. He says he looks up to the seniors to guide him, but also senses that the younger linebackers also look to him for guidance.
Tate’s big game mentality comes from his experience at states with his high school wrestling team, and constantly playing big names while in high school.
“Playing football at a quad-A high school helped me develop speed and agility because I was consistently going against the best in the state,” Moore-Jacobs said.
He says his favorite football moment was that first collegiate start and playing in the midget football “Super Bowl” with his youth team the Cowboys, but this did not sway his decision to become a Dallas fan.
Starting junior right tackle Christopher Grube loves having the All-American linebacker on his squad and definitely believes he lives up to the hype.
“It’s great having Tate on the team,” Grube said. “Whenever gets on the field to play defense, he goes into beast mode. It’s amazing, you just gotta see him play.”