Tate Grew Up UCLA Fan

Feb. 18 -- 2016 Gardena (Calif.) Serra athlete Khalil Tate said that the UCLA offer was a big one for him...

It’s been a busy spring already for 2016 Gardena (Calif.) Serra athlete Khalil Tate, who has seen his recruitment explode, with offers coming in from a variety of Pac-12 programs and even a few schools across the country.

“It’s been crazy,” Tate said. “It’s hard because it’s happened so quick I haven’t even really been able to sit down and talk with my parents about what we’re thinking. I just haven’t gotten my head around it quite yet.”

Tate is an intriguing prospect. He plays quarterback for Serra, but many are projecting him as a receiver or running back at the next level, given his very good athleticism. So far, his offers are split in terms of where schools want him.

“I have ten offers, and three want me as an athlete,” Tate said. “Utah, Florida State, and USC, I think, all want me as an athlete. Everyone else so far is saying quarterback.”

Tate does want to play quarterback in college, though he’s not completely married to the concept of sticking there long-term.

“I want to play quarterback, but I’m really open to playing wherever that will get me seeing the field early,” Tate said. “I’m definitely going to look at depth charts. Like with California, they’re not taking a quarterback in 2015, so there wouldn’t be another guy close to me to compete with. So, that’s big.”

Tate’s childhood favorite was UCLA, and the Bruins came in with an offer of their own a little over a week ago, which was a significant one for him.

“UCLA was a huge offer for me,” Tate said. “I know people say it, but I never really dreamed about going to USC. My cousin, Manny White, he played at UCLA, so that was kind of my thing growing up. I just always used to go to his tailgates, go to those games, so I was always around UCLA. I don’t know why everybody just says I’m going to USC. If anything, I was much more of a UCLA guy growing up.”

The Bruins are one of the schools recruiting Tate as a quarterback, but with Josh Rosen a year ahead of him, Tate is a little realistic looking at the depth chart.

“It’s a little surprising that they’re recruiting me as a quarterback because they have Josh Rosen,” Tate said. “I mean, I want to go in as a quarterback, but I’m open to changing positions when I get into school. I think I can make an impact at a lot of different positions.”

Tate is not just looking locally, though. His parents aren’t really pushing him to stay home, at least not at this point, and he has his eye on a particular SEC program.

“At the end of this month, we’re going down South with Coach Keyshawn (Johnson),” Tate said. “We’re going to Georgia, Alabama, all those schools down there. I want to hit up Auburn a lot. That’s a fun offensive system. Looking at Nick Marshall, I think I could really fit that system at quarterback.”

Tate has no specific plans to head up to USC and UCLA over the next few months, but he said he’d probably go to a couple of spring practice sessions at each school.

Academically, Tate probably has some work to do.

“I’m at a 2.8 overall, but I have a 3.3 so far this year," Tate said. “My freshman year my head wasn’t right and I slacked a little bit. I’ve picked it up though, and the big thing I’ve heard is that they care about progress, so I’m going to buckle down for the next year.”

Getting those grades up is especially important for Tate because he’d like to be an early enrollee at whichever schools he chooses.

“I want to be in school early, so I think I’m probably going to commit by the end of the summer just to get everything squared away,” Tate said. “I like playing, I don’t like watching, and if I get in early, I think I can make a better case to not redshirt.”

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