Star Arizona QB sent out a very powerful tweet that resonated with the whole University creating the opportunity for Kevin Sumlin. Khalil Tate’s tweet, “I didn’t come to Arizona to run the triple option,” had a major impact on the University’s coaching vacancy decision. At the time, the Wildcats were rumored to be strongly considering Navy Head Coach for the vacancy. Ken Niumatalolo was the front-runner who ran a triple option at Navy. Much to the dismay of Heisman hopeful Tate. Once Tate’s tweet went viral the Athletic Director Dave Heeke quickly looked for other coaching options. Eventually leading to the hiring of Kevin Sumlin, who Tate signed off on. Unfortunately, a lot of the nation doesn’t get to watch Khalil Tate play because the PAC 12 network isn’t aired on Direct TV. Khalil Tate has jumped up to the top of every college football conversation this offseason.
Tate’s a rare mix of speed and strength with a strong throwing arm. To play QB at the next level, which he wants to do, he’ll need to focus more on his accuracy. Right now, NFL scouts list him as a wide receiver at the next level. This is a huge year for Tate to prove to NFL organizations that he can control a huddle and make all the throws on the field. Tate spent some time at Peyton Mannings QB camp this offseason to work out some mechanics in his delivery.
To start the 2017 season, former coach Rich Rodriguez started the season with Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate starting as the backup. Tate didn’t even start till week 6 against the UCLA Bruins. Imagine what Tate’s final season numbers would have looked like if he started games against NAU, UTEP, Houston, and Utah. Probably wouldn’t have had enough to beat out Baker Mayfield for the Heisman because of the conference and amount of wins. If we’re looking at eye-popping numbers, however, Tate would have run away with it. Khalil Tate’s statement game came against the University of Colorado. He ran the ball 14 times for 327 yards rushing and 4 TD’s. He also tossed it 13/14 for 154 yards and 1 TD. Tate rushed for 840 yards in October. Most insane thing ever, most ever rushing yards in a month in D1 history. So how does Rich Rod feel after this performance from Tate? After starting the season with Tate as the backup. Maybe this is why Rich Rod is currently on the job market.
The hype that is surrounding Tate is very real. Earning him a Sports Illustrated cover, something UofA hasn’t had since Desert Swarm, with Teddy Bruschi in the early 90’s. Kevin Sumlin is no stranger to the spotlight. If things get dicey for the star Tate, Sumlin should be able to jump in to take the focus off of Tate. Something a head coach should do for his star player. I mean, Sumlin coached Johnny Manziel, can’t get much more challenging than that. Tate has a chance to do something no player from Arizona has ever done, a Rose Bowl and Heisman. Both are doable goals. Kevin Sumlin is an offensive innovator and he has the best athlete in College football. We’re about to see an extra spark on Saturday’s in Tucson during the 2018 football season.