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Khalil Tate says Sports Illustrated cover is ‘truly a blessing’

NCAA Football: Arizona at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Tate, the preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and Arizona Wildcats leader under center, tweeted about donning the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated, saying it’s “truly a blessing.”

The Arizona quarterback was touted as the nation’s best quarterback on the SI cover.

“Hand Him the Heisman,” it says, along with things like “Big and Bad” and “He runs like an RB. He hits like an LB.”

Arizona left tackle Layth Friekh had this to say about Tate being on the cover:

Tate was one of four regional cover athletes for SI’s college football preview. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Tate is believed to be the first active athlete from Arizona football to grace the cover since 1994.

“I’d feel good if I was the Arizona marketing department,” ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell told the Star. “Arizona should take that and run with it — make sure all the students know about it.”

Tate has not been available to local media since the spring, but is scheduled to talk to reporters Monday.