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Former UGA star running back Lars Tate dies at 56

Tate, a running back, became just the fifth Bulldog to run for over 1,000 yards in a season in 1987.
Credit: University of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — Lars Tate, a star running back in the late 80s for the University of Georgia, has died at the age of 56, the school announced Tuesday.

Tate's cause of death was not initially known. According to UGA, he was in St. Petersburg, Fla. at the time of his death.

The Indianapolis native played four seasons with the Bulldogs, culminating in a 1987 season that saw him rush for 1,016 yards - just the fifth player in team history to go for more than 1,000 in a season.

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He ran for 3,017 career yards and scored 36 rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs. His career rushing total still ranks sixth all-time in the program's history and he is third in rushing touchdowns. At the time he graduated, he was second all-time in rushing behind only Herschel Walker.

In addition to his momentous 1987 season, he also had more than 1,000 all-purpose yards in 1986 with 214 receiving yards. 

Tate was taken in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, running for 467 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie. The next season he started 14 games for Tampa Bay, rushing for 589 yards and eight touchdowns.

He then joined Chicago for the 1990 season, appearing in three games and making three rushing attempts in what would be his last NFL action.

His son, Donovan, would later go on to be the third overall pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.

   

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