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N’Keal Harry, Khalil Tate in top 20 of ESPN Class of 2016 re-rankings

(AP Photos)

Although Arizona and ASU both finished with just seven wins last season, Khalil Tate and N’Keal Harry have proven themselves as two of the best players in the Pac-12 and the NCAA as a whole.

Tate and Harry were four-star recruits in high school, but both of them moved up when ESPN re-ranked the Class of 2016.

Even though Tate was ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN, he was not ranked in the ESPN 300. In the recent ESPN re-rankings of the Class of 2016, Tate moved up to No. 16 as a result of his success at Arizona.

One possible reason for Tate not being ranked was questions about his accuracy.

Areas that needed improvement: Becoming a more polished and accurate passer will be key in his development, as will continuing to add strength to his frame to take the punishment of being a volume runner in college.

He proved doubters wrong by becoming one of the most precise passers in the Pac-12 in the second half of the 2017 season.

Perhaps more eye-opening when watching Tate is his contributions to the running game.

In 11 games, Tate rushed for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns. His contributions to both Arizona’s passing and rushing attack earned him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week four consecutive weeks in a row, a new conference record.

While Tate was brilliant for the majority of 2017, there are still some inconsistencies in his game. He was dismal in Arizona’s games to Oregon and USC, posting a passer rating of under 100 in both of the losses.

That being said, he is still regarded as one of the early-season Heisman favorites, and now he has an offensive mind running the ship — Kevin Sumlin.

Arizona State wide out N’Keal Harry was the nation’s top-rated receiver coming out of Chandler High School, and even so, he has exceeded expectations at ASU.

Harry cracked the top 10 in the ESPN re-rankings, placing seventh overall. In two seasons with the Sun Devils, Harry has accumulated 13 touchdowns and more than 1,800 yards.

In his recruiting profile, learning the position and route running were two things listed that needed improvement.

Areas that needed improvement: Continuing to develop as a route-runner and learn the nuances of the position will be key in maximizing his potential.

But in just two years at ASU, it’s pretty clear those concerns haven’t held him back.

Harry moved up in the rankings not only because of his stats, but also because of his ability to catch 50-50 balls. He has established himself as one of the premier pass catchers in college football, and he is finally starting to get the due recognition from NFL scouts.

In Todd McShay’s first mock draft, he projected the Houston Texans to select Harry with the No. 25 pick in the 2019 Draft.

Assuming he continues his excellence this year, Harry could be the first Sun Devil taken in the top 10 since Terrell Suggs in 2003.

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