It’s not every day you can add a first-round draft pick to your roster but that’s exactly what Rich Rodriguez did this week at Arizona.
The only catch? Well, it’s a first rounder from Major League Baseball’s draft and not the NFL’s. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the No. 3 pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, Donavan Tate, is walking-on with the Wildcats and will be a quarterback for the team starting this summer.
Despite the lofty contract and expectations that came with being taken that high by the San Diego Padres, Tate never did live up to his early billing in baseball. He never reached the majors and spent most of the past six seasons in the minors as he dealt with numerous injuries. The Georgia native also had two stints in rehab facilities as he dealt with substance abuse in recent years.
The addition of a 26-year-old baseball player to the team is an interesting one at Arizona, which left spring football with no decisions being made on a starter between redshirt junior Brandon Dawkins and sophomore Khalil Tate (no relation). Although Tate hasn’t played football in nearly a decade, he was a superstar athlete coming out of high school and committed to North Carolina before the million dollar offer to join the Padres came along.
Arizona is bringing in two quarterback recruits this summer — including Rodriguez’ own son, Rhett — as well. The mix of all of them should make the battle to be the starting signal-caller for the Wildcats quite an interesting one when the team opens fall camp later this year.