Khalil Tate is determined to continue shocking his doubters while at the UA. Khalil Tate / Via @khalil_tate Instagram
As just a 19-year-old sophomore, Inglewood, California, native Khalil Tate took the nation by storm. After spending the first three games of the season backing up then Arizona starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins, Tate exploded onto the scene. During his breakout season, Tate broke the NCAA rushing record for yards in a single game by a quarterback (327 yards), finished third in the nation in rush yards per game (155.3 yards), and led in rushing yards per attempt (11.44 yards). Proud, shocked, and impressed with his own achievements? Not so fast. “I haven’t even showed the world half of what I’m capable of,” said Tate during an interview with ASN. Khalil Tate, or “Little Tate” as he was known at the local parks where he first fell in love with football in Inglewood, hasn’t had the easiest journey to stardom at the University of Arizona. As a boy, Khalil grew up playing football at the park across the street from his family’s home, with his older brother Akili, where their skills left an impression on the other children in the neighborhood. “The kids always knew Khalil, my dad, and I. We would go play every Saturday starting at around 8 a.m., and would stick around at the park until the older kids took over at night,” said Akili. Akili, who played wide receiver in high school, always knew Khalil had the ability to transform from a great athlete to a skilled quarterback. “I knew he was a quarterback pretty much because of his arm strength. We would go to the park and play catch, and he was throwing the ball 40 yards when we were still in Pop Warner,” said Akili. While football came easy to Khalil Tate, life off the field was a different story. “Growing up in Inglewood was cool,” said Tate. “I think it has to do with how I’ve shocked people with my success. … I wasn’t expected to do anything.” The expectations of Tate, or lack thereof, have fueled his drive to prove people who doubted him wrong. Perhaps shocking to those around Tate, due to his mild manner personality, to his family, this drive is nothing new. “Khalil is all about winning, but he also in intensely competitive. He wants to prove people wrong and be the best version of himself he can be,” said Akili Tate. Khalil got his first taste of trying to win at the collegiate level in October of 2016. Just 17 years old at the time, he became the third youngest starting quarterback in NCAA history. Now that he is a known name in college football around the nation, Tate knows the feeling of being on the top and the bottom. “Those around Khalil know that no matter how good things get, Khalil will never forget where he came from or take success for granted,” said Akili. Come the fall, there is definitely reason for optimism at Arizona Stadium with Khalil Tate behind center. “It was a good year for me,” he said, “but I know this is just the beginning.” Noah Saunders is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Click here for a Word version of this story and high-resolution photos
Originally posted from Arizona Sonora News Service which can be read here.