Khalil Tate was thrust into some pretty horrible situations in his true freshman season with the Arizona Wildcats.
Originally expected to redshirt, the 17-year-old Tate was forced into action after Anu Solomon and Brandon Dawkins suffered injuries.
In seven games (including one start), Tate completed 18 of 45 passes for 243 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, while his dual-threat tendencies allowed him to rush for 237 yards and one touchdown, averaging just under five yards a carry.
Not only was Tate extremely young and still learning the playbook, he was also a bit out of shape, too.
Now listed at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Tate had a thick build as he entered the program and this offseason he told fellow quarterback Zach Werlinger in the players’ lounge that he wants to improve his conditioning.
“Which is your strong suit, which I have heard from Brandon,” Werlinger joked.
“You can never be too good, you can always get better” Tate added.
“But you can be horrible,” Dawkins quipped.
Tate is a phenomenal athlete, but he was often out of breath after just a few plays, sometimes doubled over with his hands on his hips.
If Arizona’s quarterbacks can get protection up front, and it can improve its running game, its offense can go far.
And if Tate can cut some weight, pick up his conditioning, and be in better shape to run UA’s fast-paced offense, he has a legitimate chance of competing with Dawkins for the starting quarterback job.