What percentage of college football fans would know the name Khalil Tate if asked? Probably not many. UCLA fans learned it this weekend. Just like Colorado fans did the week before. Two weeks ago, no one, I’d venture to guess not even most Arizona fans knew who Tate was. They sure do now. It’s about time the rest of the country catches up.
Two weeks ago, he was a sophomore backup QB who’d played sparingly for the 2-2 Arizona Wildcats. He’d failed to win the starting job and was still rehabbing a shoulder injury. Tate was a highly touted prospect who’d looked lost under center as a freshman when he’d been thrown into action. He entered the game against Colorado after the Wildcats’ starting QB, Brandon Dawkins, was shaken up on a late hit. That was the last time Dawkins would need his helmet in that night. It might be the last time he needs it this season if things continue at this rate.
Once given the opportunity in relief, the backup Quarterback took the opportunity and ran for 327 yards on 14 carries against Colorado. Tate had 4 touchdowns, including runs of 58 and 75 yards. He’s obviously not a drop back QB but he went 12-13 for 154 yards and a TD.
With numbers like that in his first near full game, you’d expect UCLA to come in ready to stop him from running the ball. But in his second career start as the Wildcats’ signal caller (he started one game last year), he ran for another 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. He broke away for a 45 yard touchdown run the 4th play of the game and ran for another 71 yarder in the 2nd quarter. To boot, he completed 9 of 13 passes for 148 yards and another touchdown.
Just to put things into perspective, here’s what Khalil Tate has done in two games:
- FBS record for single game rushing yards by a Quarterback
- First QB since 1997 to rush for consecutive 200 yard games
- He compiled more rushing yards in 2 games than Jalen Hurts (Bama), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), or TaQuan Marshall (GT) had in 6 games
- Tate’s 2 game total is more than Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Washington State, Iowa State, and 7 other teams have rushed for on the year
So who is this kid and where did he come from?
Khalil Tate is from Inglewood, CA. As a Senior at Junipero Serra High School in 2015, he totaled 43 TD’s, rushing and passing for over 2,000 yards. He was the LA Times Quarterback of the Year, California Mr. Football Winner, and was a Consensus 4 star recruit as a Dual-Threat QB. He turned down offers to USC, UCLA, Texas A&M, Boise State, and several others.
At 6’1 he played Point Guard on his high school team and a nationally ranked AAU team. Before he became such a dominant force on the football field, he contemplated a career in basketball. According to his mother, his grandma taught him how to throw a football in his front yard and football has been his favorite sport ever since.
We haven’t really seen it yet, but judging by his high school highlights, he can air it out too. We’ll see if he can continue these kinds of performances. If so, he could be a factor in a now wide-open Pac12.