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ESPN: Arizona Wildcats atop future QB rankings

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate warms up before an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Changing to a new head coach can come with growing pains. Two words summarize why the transition for the Arizona Wildcats and Kevin Sumlin will go smoothly.

Quarterback depth.

In a ranking compiled by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the Wildcats placed No. 9 on his list of QB future power rankings. The rankings project three years out and are based off Rittenberg talking with analysts and coaches in creating the list.

Taking into account a team’s current starting quarterback, bench depth and recruits, Arizona cracks the top-10 largely because of Khalil Tate.

As a sophomore, Tate exploded onto the national scene as a dual-threat quarterback. He threw for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns while gaining an additional 1,411 yards and 12 scores on the ground while only starting nine games in 2017.

While the Wildcats’ offense might look different than a year ago under Rich Rodriguez, Rittenberg believes that Tate will flourish with Sumlin. Realizing the potential of the success Tate and Sumlin could have, one Pac-12 defensive coordinator is not looking forward to facing Arizona in 2018.

“He’s the one quarterback I don’t want to play next year.”

Beyond Tate, fifth-year senior Brandon Dawkins and freshman K’Hari Lane return as well as incoming freshmen Kevin Doyle and Jamarye Joiner to complete the depth chart. Out of high school, both players were three-star recruits, according to

Under Sumlin, Tate could potentially play two more seasons if he does not declare early for the NFL. After that, there is no clear-cut successor but with promising prospects biding their time, the Wildcats could be gearing up for a string of successful quarterbacks.

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