Arizona commit Donavon Tate: Journey back to College Football

Nov 19, 2016; Corvallis, OR, USA; An Arizona Wildcats helmet sits on the field before the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2016; Corvallis, OR, USA; An Arizona Wildcats helmet sits on the field before the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports /

Once a former Four Star QB, Donovan Tate was drafted by the Padres organization in 2009. Failing to advance in the minor league system, he has decided to attend Arizona to play football.

When Donovan Tate originally committed to North Carolina, he was intent on playing both baseball and college football during his time there. Only one thing stood in his way of becoming a two-sport star in college.

That one thing? Only a $6.25 million signing bonus, no 19-year-old is turning that down. He made a personal decision that was difficult to judge from a fan standpoint. It sure would have been nice to see him play football instead of baseball, but he has set his family up for life. With that journey over, Tate has decided to finally attend college and play football.

There was much expected of Tate when the Padres drafted him 3rd overall back in 2009. Those assumptions never panned out. In a draft that included ace Stephen Strasburg going to the Nationals, AJ Pollock and going 17th overall to the Diamondbacks, Tate was the one wild card. He was just a high school prospect at that point and one that San Diego had to take a chance on. The baseball acumen was always there, as a senior in high school Tate batted .493 with 10 HR’s, 36 RBI’s, and an outstanding 21 stolen bases in 22 attempts. The talent was there, but the only problem was, would it translate to MLB success?

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The best season Tate ever had was his second, all the way back in 2011. Splitting time between two different teams, the Eugene Emeralds and the Fort Wayne Tincaps, he averaged .288 with 0 homers, 22 RBI, and 19 SB.

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Those numbers would impress any scout in Low A ball if that player weren’t owed over $6 million.

His career was marred by injuries, in his first two seasons alone he would suffer a Sports Hernia, a broken jaw, and a separated shoulder. As time progressed, Tate’s game ended up at the point where the Padres were close to giving up on him.

That time came in 2005 when the Padres released him. The Dodgers decided to give Tate one final chance in 2016. After playing only eight games with their affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, in which he only batted .107 the Dodgers released him.

On May 3rd, Jason Scheer reported that Tate would indeed join the Arizona Wildcats for the upcoming football season.

He is expected to compete with Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate (no relation) to be the starting QB. Dawkins, a dual threat QB who threw for over 1,300 yards, and ran for almost 1,000 last season will enter the year as the incumbent starter. Khalil took over for Dawkins against UCLA last season and showed a ton of promise. Injuries and a death plagued the O-Line, so it was hard to excel, but this season we will once see a huge competition between Dawkins and Tate. Also, Coach Rod’s son Rhett will also join the team this season, he came out of Catalina Foothills High School and had a great senior year.

If, and when, Donovan Tate begins to show promise during practices, and if the team struggles like they did last season, there is very good chance that the Arizona Wildcats could have a 27-year-old true freshman as the premiere Quarterback if not now eventually.

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If anybody wants to follow the teams newest QB, follow Tate on Twitter @__tatertot__What do you think of Donovan Tate and his chances of becoming the Starting QB for Arizona next season? Let us know in the comments below!