There are few more perplexing stories over the last three years in college football than the sudden rise and fall of University of Arizona senior quarterback Khalil Tate.
After serving in a reserve role his true freshman season in Tucson, the highly coveted recruit from Los Angeles burst into the national spotlight as a sophomore rushing for over 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns, while throwing for 14 more. His electrifying playmaking made him a must-watch around the country.
However, while his passing totals the past two-plus seasons have climbed, his rushing yards have dipped significantly under second-year head coach and offensive-minded Kevin Sumlin.
One former star Pac-12 quarterback believes Tate tried to fix something which wasn’t necessarily broken in the first place.
“I really believe Brad, from day one, if Khalil Tate would have just tuned out the outside noise from friends and family and others who have said, ‘oh, you have to throw it,'” FOX college football analyst Brock Huard said in a recent phone interview with Brad Cesmat. “[If] he simply would have committed to being the guy he was when he started running the football, it would be a very different situation down in Tucson.”
Huard even went so far as to compare Tate to another senior quarterback who has seen both success, as well as struggles.
“Too bad Khalil Tate can’t talk to Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma,” he explained. “One thing I respect so much about Jalen is that he plays to his strengths and he’s not trying to play to the next level.”
Sumlin has yet to announce who will start at quarterback Saturday when the ‘Cats take on sixth-ranked Oregon in Eugene. Freshman Grant Gunnel relieved Tate in Arizona’s 56-38 loss to Oregon State on November 2nd in Tucson.