HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
No. 14 Khalil Tate
Arizona – QB
Khalil Tate was a four-star recruit. He was the 11th-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country in 2016. He had several Power Five offers.
Khalil Tate was not a low-ranked, unheralded, where-did-he-come-from prospect. Still, he was not a household name on Oct. 6, 2017. He was a household name on Oct. 7, 2017.
Check out the Google Trends for "Khalil Tate" from Sept. 1, 2017 — the day before Arizona's regular-season opener — until Nov. 26, 2017 — the day after Arizona's regular-season finale.
While we might see similar spikes in "Khalil Tate" searches during the 2018 season, we won't see anything like what happened after he shredded Colorado's defense on Oct. 7, 2017. The Wildcats' sophomore quarterback was 12-for-13 passing for 154 yards and one touchdown and ran for 324 yards and four touchdowns, setting the FBS record for rushing yards in a single game.
Despite playing sparingly over their first four games, Tate still finished 17th in the nation in rushing — fourth among quarterbacks — with 1,411 yards.
“A hundred percent," new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said when asked if there's a "wow" factor to coaching Tate. "Am I going to coach him to be (more) dynamic as a runner? No, that’s who he is. He’s a dynamic runner. What he’s trying to do now is become a rounded quarterback and play the position the other way, in the pocket. That’s what I think he’s been working hard on.”
Khalil Tate is a Heisman and All-America candidate and the best No. 14 in college football.