Welcome to a new series in which we try to determine if the Arizona Wildcats’ position groups are in strong, stable, unstable, serious, or critical condition heading into fall camp. Next up are the quarterbacks.
Returning starter: Khalil Tate
Backups: Kevin Doyle, Jamarye Joiner, K’Hari Lane, Rhett Rodriguez
We all know Khalil Tate is one of the most electrifying players in college football. Entering his third year, he has only played in about 12 meaningful games, giving him so much more room to grow. He can continue to improve staying by calm in the pocket, making the right reads and commanding sustained drives, not always relying on his speed to make big plays.
He single-handedly won Arizona games last season, and keeping him healthy is imperative for Arizona’s success in 2018, especially when you consider its depth.
Together, Arizona’s four backup quarterbacks have one combined passing attempt at the collegiate level, with Rhett Rodriguez completing a 10-yard pass last season against UTEP. Despite leading the backups in attempts, he is likely at the bottom of the depth chart. He’s a natural when it comes to football IQ, it’s the overall level of talent that ultimately holds him back.
Just ahead of him is K’Hari Lane, who was a late addition to the 2017 class after holding no FBS offers, despite putting up absurd numbers in high school. He has trimmed down quite a bit after entering the program around 245 pounds. He’s been running the second team, and making decent progress, but still doesn’t have that skill of a true No. 2 quarterback in the Pac-12.
Jamarye Joiner is quite the interesting backup. The Cienega product is another dynamic playmaker who replicates Tate’s skill set. Joiner has the touch and speed, but the fact that he was a Rich Rodriguez commit, and Kevin Sumlin’s staff went after their own quarterback late in the cycle is telling.
Kevin Doyle had a whirlwind recruitment after him and Michigan parted ways, allowing Noel Mazzone to swoop in. Fundamentally, Doyle is easily the most sound quarterback of the backups, and it should not be shocking to see him as the No. 2 to start the season, especially with the new four-game allowance to keep his redshirt.
It’s hard to say the position is anything other than strong when you have a guy like Khalil Tate running your offense. While he is still young and relatively inexperienced despite his success, he makes the entire offense better and can mask a lot of offensive line problems as well.
He is the most valuable player on this roster and he needs to stay a healthy because a healthy Khalil Tate could mean Pac-12 South Championship.
What condition are Arizona’s safeties in?
This poll is closed