Packers’ Davante Adams, Dodgers’ Joc Pederson formed dynamic receiver duo in high school

In 2021, Davante Adams has a case as the best wide receiver in the NFL. In 2009, his junior year of high school, Adams wasn’t even the best wideout on his team.

There was a senior at Palo Alto High School during the 2009 football season who put up better numbers than Adams. He’s not in the NFL now, though. He didn’t even play football after that season.

The senior’s name? Joc Pederson. Yes, that Joc Pederson, the former Dodgers outfielder and power hitter in Major League Baseball who’s currently a free agent.

Here’s how the 2009 stats broke down for Pederson and Adams:

The Palo Alto Vikings went 7-2-2 that season with a pair of junior quarterbacks, T.J. Braff and Christof Bono, who got to throw to two future world-class athletes. The final game of Pederson’s high school football career was a 34-6 postseason loss.

When Adams came back for his senior year, he caught 63 passes for 1,094 yards and 11 touchdowns, showing off a future as a wide receiver that took him first to Fresno State and eventually to the Green Bay Packers. Palo Alto went 14-0 in Adams’ senior year to close his high school days with a state championship.

“Davante got hurt halfway through and finished on one leg,” Palo Alto’s athletic director, Nelson Gifford, told local television station Fox 6 last January. “It was epic. It was tremendous.”

Pederson’s football career ended in that 2009 fall, and he was taken by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He rose through the system as a power-speed threat in the outfield, and he’s displayed light-tower power in the big leagues, including a career-high 36 home runs in 2019. 

Baseball success hasn’t stopped Pederson from being interested in football, though. In 2016, he asked the Rams for a tryout, saying that he’d compare his high school self to Adams’ former Green Bay teammate, Jordy Nelson. 

In general, things worked out just fine for these two Palo Alto teammates. Pederson won the 2020 World Series with the Dodgers, and Adams is chasing a spot in the 2021 Super Bowl. The conversations are surely lost to history, but maybe once upon a time, Pederson and Adams discussed such ring-winning under the Friday night lights of a California football field.

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