Serra junior quarterback Khalil Tate knows all about tradition.
While football prestige and lineage is mostly reserved for those elite
college football programs steeped in decades of bowl trophies and
plaques displaying countless NFL alums, Serra is one of the few high
school football programs capable of citing its pedigree.
Tate, a 6-foot, 190-pounds quarterback, came to Serra well-versed in
the annals of playmaking.
“My dad went to Serra and he graduated in ’86,” explained Tate. “Then
my uncle went to Serra and graduated in the 60’s. My brother, he
recently graduated in 2013.
“I’ve always been going to the games — keeping a good relationship with
Coach (Scott) Altenberg and all of the coaching staff. It was kind of
cool growing up and then watching them and now playing in their shoes.
“I get to do what all of those kids I watched play for Serra growing
This midway past season, Tate became a full time starter at
quarterback. He threw for 1,400 yards, 17 touchdowns and six
interceptions. Tate also ran for 17 more scores on 140 carries for
“I feel like I did very well this year,” said Tate. “I feel like we
have a lot of playmakers on the field so that helps me be a better
quarterback. For next year, what that means, is that it will probably
make me better quarterback because I’ll have to do more of what a
regular quarterback does.
“My focus will be to throw the ball to my playmakers.”
With an impressive amount of statistics running the ball, Tate reveals
his goals as a D-I prospect.
“I want to play quarterback,” said Tate. “I’ve played quarterback since
I was about 5-years-old. But I mean, any place that really needs me, I
can play any position that a school needs me to as long as I get the
time and I’m producing.
“It doesn’t really matter, as long as I’m on the field making an impact
in the game.”
Tate has a knack for creating plenty of impact plays. Watching the
likes of Robert Woods, Paul Richardson, Marqise Lee, Adoree Jackson and
others, Tate is destined to be recruited at multiple positions just
like his predecessors.
“Yeah, Miami, Florida State and Florida want me either as a receiver or
safety,” said Tate. “They don’t really see me playing quarterback, but
then other schools do.”
With tails of Tate outrunning Adoree Jackson in off season conditioning
workouts as a no-name back up quarterback last year, the Sunshine State
knows an athlete when they see one.
But the schools recruiting Tate the hardest are closer to home.
“Right now, I’m getting letters from schools around the country,” said
Tate. “Some schools are coming after me like they need me. The main
schools are Utah and probably SC. Those are probably the hottest two on
me right now.”
USC’s evaluation of Tate has been very specific.
“They like my speed and they said my hand size,” said Tate. “I have
pretty big hands, so I handle the ball well.
“They are also saying how they like that I’m a playmaker. They like how
I can make plays, especially Coach Tee Martin.”
With USC using their quarterbacks out of the shotgun and no-huddle,
Tate sees a fit in Steve Sarkisian’s offense.
“I can probably run any offense as long as I put my mind to it,” said
Tate. But up tempo is probably the best (fit). I think it will probably
fit me more because the defense is always on their heels and they don’t
know what’s going to happen.”
Right now, Tate is on crutches as he recovers from a minor foot injury
suffered in the playoffs. However, that won’t prevent him from being at
the Rose Bowl to watch USC and UCLA play Saturday.
“Growing up, it was weird because I’ve always been a UCLA guy because
my cousin went to UCLA. When I was younger, I always used to go to his
games. Growing up, I never really liked USC.
“Now that I’ve been around USC so much, and a lot of my teammate’s have
been going there, it’s different. The guys that have come back told me
it’s real cool. And I go tot he practices and it’s real cool. The
facilities, the coaches too.
“They treat you like their own. They don’t treat you like you’re
nothing. I think even if you were a walk on, they’d probably still
treat you like you’re really a part of the team and that you mean
Kahlil Tate awaits
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