Arizona Wildcats linebacker great LaMonte Hunley sat down with The Sports Guys (Anthony Gimino, Steve Rivera and Matt Moreno) this week to discuss this year’s personnel heading into Friday night’s game against ASU at Arizona Stadium.
Hunley played at Arizona from 1981 to 1984. He was a captain of the team as a senior.
One part of the discussion included Hunley’s opinion of Arizona’s coaches not utilizing freshman quarterback Khalil Tate enough after they brought him out of his redshirt status midway through the season.
“Heck yeah, you gotta play him now,” Hunley said when asked by Gimino if Rodriguez and his staff should have played Tate more after bringing him out of his redshirt year against UCLA on Oct. 1.
Tate has played sporadically in the six games since, completing 18 passes out of 45 attempts with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He has attempted only 10 passes in the last four games (with one completion).
“You took a year from him,” said Hunley, the younger brother of Arizona All-American linebacker Ricky Hunley. “Put him on the field. Fine. At this point and time, (Rodriguez) has to get his best athletes out there.”
Hunley’s comments about Tate were also in relation to his idea of playing Brandon Dawkins, an elusive running quarterback, as the running back with Anu Solomon or Tate as the quarterback. Arizona is without a viable running back because of injuries to Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor.
“You’re doing it with the wide receiver (Samajie Grant) at tailback,” Hunley said. “Now, do the same thing with the quarterback situation. Put them there (at running back). … Maybe some linemen can play running back … You don’t sacrifice kids in their freshman year who have not been on that field and just throw them out there for a few plays where they could end up losing a quality year. … To put that kid out there for a few snaps … and subject him for losing a redshirt opportunity or get hurt, you don’t do that.”
Watch the following video of this week’s edition of the Sports Guys to get Hunley’s take on the game against ASU and his memories of playing in the Territorial Cup game, among other topics.