This could potentially end up going sideways for the Arizona football program.
Friday, reports surfaced that Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo was a “strong candidate” to take over as the head coach at Arizona. While the potential move was widely applauded in most corners, one individual in particular appeared to be decidedly displeased with the possibility of the coach bringing his option offense out west.
On his personal Twitter account in a tweet that has since been deleted – we’ve saved it for posterity’s sake — star quarterback Khalil Tate wrote that “he didn’t come to Arizona to run the tripple (sic) option.”
Tate also used a hashtag to reinforce who he feels should be the permanent replacement for Rich Rodriguez: interim head coach and defensive coordinator Marcel Yates.
Tate is one of the most dynamic playmakers at the quarterback position — hell, at any position — in college football and is a huge key if the Wildcats and whatever coach they ultimately settle on are to make noise in the Pac-12. He’ll likely enter the 2018 season as one of a handful of legitimate Heisman Trophy contenders.
Whether the football program can keep him from transferring elsewhere remains to be seen. There had been speculation shortly after Rodriguez was fired that Tate was seriously considering a transfer; the player’s mother came out and stated that he wouldn’t be leaving the school.
Again on his Twitter account, he set the record straight that those words weren’t his.
If Niumatalolo is indeed hired, it appears he’ll have some work to do in order to keep the dynamic Tate on the roster.