1. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona
The rise of Khalil Tate and the Arizona Wildcats in the middle of the 2017 season was one of the most fun and enjoyable narratives to follow in all of college football. In a Pac-12 conference where the quarterback narrative was dominated by Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, it was Tate that started to make all of the waves and steal all of the headlines. And frankly, it’s not difficult at all to see why that was the case.
Once he was given the reins of the offense, Tate took off running, both literally and figuratively. His first full game of action as the Wildcats quarterback against Colorado saw him throw for 154 yards and a score, but also run for a ridiculous 327 yards and four touchdowns. He proved that was far from a flash in the pan, as well.
On the year, Tate finished with 1,289 passing yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. However, his truly impressive marks came as a runner where he amassed 1,353 yards and 12 touchdowns on only 133 carries for the season. For those keeping track at home, that’s an average of 10.2 yards per carry.
There’s no doubt that Tate will enter 2018 as the unquestioned leader of the Arizona offense. With that confidence instilled in him, growth as a man and player from the experience he gained this season, and simply his unreal athleticism and talent, Tate is again going to be looking to take the college world by storm. If he can improve upon what he did this season, there’s no way he’s not a Heisman candidate in 2018.