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Arizona football: Khalil Tate not exactly showing his age

That doesn’t look like a 17-year-old out there

NCAA Football: Arizona at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one thing to be a true freshman and about to see significant playing time in a conference like the Pac-12.

It’s another to be 17 years old and doing it.

But that’s what we’re seeing with Khalil Tate and the Arizona Wildcats. He will turn 18 later in October, but his ability on the field makes people forget that he’s 17, including his position coach.

“It is,” Smith said when I asked if it’s hard to remember that Tate is 17. “But as I was telling him, it’s pretty amazing for that kid to be that young yet built the way he is, and have the mentality that he wasn’t phased (vs. UCLA). Obviously he didn’t have a perfect game, but for his first time, I thought he did pretty admirably.”

“Somebody told me that the other day, but I thought he was 19,” running back Zach Green said of when he learned Tate was 17. “That’s crazy. I think I was 19 when I was a freshman, so being 17, that’s pretty crazy.”

“I knew Khalil was going to be a good player when I got here,” Cal transfer Michael Barton added. “Just the way he practices and carries himself. I mean, he’s only 17, he’s still a baby, so he’s going to mature a lot more and I know the future is going to be really bright here, so I’m definitely excited to follow his career.”

Travelling to Salt Lake City and Rice-Eccles is a bit different than playing at UCLA, and with Brandon Dawkins and Anu Solomon unlikely to play, we’ll likely see just how mature Tate can be when he walks into that hostile environment Saturday night as the starting quarterback.