Arizona Football

Arizona’s Khalil Tate starts high in 2018 Heisman odds

Khalil Tate eludes a Purdue Boilermaker in the Foster Farms Bowl game. UA lost 38-35. (photo courtesy Arizona Athletics)

Is it too early for 2018 Heisman talk? Of course it is. But who cares about that?

Arizona’s Khalil Tate positioned himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the country last October — when he burst onto the scene by rushing for an NCAA QB-record 337 yards against Colorado — and his junior year shapes up to be even better.

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas agree.

Tate is third on an early list of Heisman favorites for 2018 at 9-1, behind Stanford running back Bryce Love (7-1) and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (8-1).

Makes sense.

Tate’s new head coach, Kevin Sumlin, knows how to work with dual-threat quarterbacks (Johnny Manziel, for example) and the UA receiving corps could be boosted through the 2018 recruiting class. In addition to his running skills, don’t forget Tate passed for 302 yards and five touchdowns in the bowl loss to Purdue, finishing 14th nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 152.4.

With many of the top college quarterbacks moving on — including Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson, as well as draft darlings Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen — there is no clear-cut leader as the best of 2018.

So, why not Tate?

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