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Arizona in one writer’s early top-25 despite future questions

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate throws down field against Oregon during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

Despite not having a head coach and the future in question for quarterback Khalil Tate, The Mercury News has Arizona ranked at No. 22 in its ridiculously early top-25 rankings for 2018.

The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner ranked the Wildcats so highly in his poll is because of their promising young defense led by Freshmen All-Americans Colin Schooler and Kylan Wilborn.

Arizona had 19 interceptions last season, only two interceptions behind the NCAA-leading Iowa Hawkeyes, and was led by freshman cornerback Lorenzo Burns, who had five interceptions.

On the other side of the ball the team is confident in running back J.J. Taylor, who racked up a total of 895 yards and seven touchdowns, but there still are looming questions surrounding the offense.

Arizona has a bright future if its star quarterback doesn’t leave, but Tate is still undecided on if he will stay in Tucson.

Once Wildcat fans took a sigh of relief seeing that Tate’s mother told the Arizona Daily Star that he was committed to staying on the team, Tate went to Twitter to explain that was not the case, at least right now.

This past season, Tate had 1,591 passing yards and 14 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Tate could be waiting to make a decision once Arizona hires a new coach to replace Rich Rodriguez, who was fired after sexual harassment allegations.

So while Wilner says the jury is still out “until the head coach is in place,” the Wildcats showed their potential this season and has people expecting a successful season at the moment.

The other Pac-12 schools that made the list are Washington at No. 7, Oregon at No. 13 and Stanford at No. 17.


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