Sporting News, one of America’s most iconic and longest-serving sports magazines, polled their writers on who they think are the best quarterbacks in college football coming into the 2019 season.
For Arizona fans, they will be able to find a familiar face among the rankings, as SN has listed Khalil Tate as the 21st-best quarterback coming into this year.
Arizona’s Khalil Tate coming in at 21. A pretty solid spot in a LOADED year for quarterbacks. https://t.co/bzkAOFhdbo— David Skinner (@davidwskinner_) May 7, 2019
After a season that was filled with promise, Tate’s 2018 ended up being hamstrung by injuries which prevented him from ever getting into a rhythm game-to-game. The Sports Illustrated cover that he sprawled across was quickly forgotten as Arizona and Tate hobbled out to an 0-2 start.
There is room for optimism for Arizona fans, though, as a healthy Tate in a system he is now familiar with and able to seamlessly work within is going to help the dynamic playmaker get back to his explosive ways. The No. 21 mark is right where Arizona fans should want Tate. Getting recognition, but without the ridiculous hype that seemed to hang over him like a cloud to begin last year. It seemed like the Heisman Trophy hype was a couple steps ahead of where he actually was, and this season, he is in prime position to surprise people once again.
Tate discussed his disappointing season during spring practice, and he sounded like someone that accepted what happened and is determined to set the record straight before his time is up as a Wildcat.
The self-aware Tate seemed to have taken the months in-between the ASU game and spring ball to reflect on his career, and how this upcoming season is his last chance at forging it the way he sees fit.
“I knew I had a lot more to prove,” said Tate. “I know I left a lot on the table. I know what my ceiling is and with the circumstances that I was dealt with last year I couldn’t really perform to the best of my abilities and show the next level what I can do. Thankfully I had another year to learn and find myself in this offense and do better and perform and show the (NFL) that I can be a quarterback at the next level.”
Another interesting, yet slightly worrying tidbit from Sporting News’ list for Arizona fans is Oregon’s Justin Herbert came in at No. 4, Hawaii’s Cole McDonald was ninth, Stanford’s K.J. Costello was 15th and Washington’s Jacob Eason was 19th. Arizona will be facing all four of those quarterbacks this fall, three of them on the road.
If Arizona and Tate want to jump back into the national spotlight, beating those top-tier quarterbacks is a surefire way to just do that. And the only way they are going to be able to do that is with a Tate.