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Pro Football Focus ranks Arizona’s Khalil Tate as top 10 QB in NCAA

Quarterback Khalil Tate #14 of the Arizona Wildcats throws a pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

A 2018 full of disappointment with lingering injuries wasn’t enough for Pro Football Focus to downplay the ability of Arizona senior quarterback Khalil Tate heading into this season.

PFF ranked Tate as the No. 10 starting quarterback in all of college football.

Tate’s 2018 season suffered from a change in scheme and a new head coach in Kevin Sumlin. As fun a prospect that we’ve seen over the past two years, if he can return to the form that saw him as a Heisman candidate in 2017 when he utilized his legs more, the 2019 season could be much different for Wildcat faithful. His two-year rushing grade is third only behind Ohio’s Nathan Rourke and Virginia’s Bryce Perkins.

It’s easy to forget that last preseason Tate was on the cover of Sports Illustrated and one of the few considered as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy.

Ankle, shoulder and toe issues for him, though, hindered one of the game’s most explosive players two years ago.

Tate broke onto the national scene in 2017 with over 3,000 all-purpose yards and 26 total touchdowns. He had 1,411 yards on the ground and another 1,591 through the air.

His rushing totals, however, completely diminished the following season with only 224 yards. Tate often looked hobbled and unable to fully use his explosiveness as a playmaker in the open field. Through the air, he completed 56.3 percent of his 302 passing attempts for 2,530 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In Kevin Sumlin’s first year with the star power of Tate, a 5-7 record did not meet expectations.

Tate was placed as the third-best quarterback in the Pac-12 conference by PFF, trailing Oregon’s Justin Herbert (third) and Stanford’s K.J. Costello (seventh).

Arizona State true freshman Jayden Daniels was ranked as the worst starting quarterback in the Pac-12 at No. 97 overall out of 130.

Tate and the Wildcats’ season starts on Aug. 24 against Hawaii on the road.

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