From the field to the screen: Arizona Football favorites unite on All American

Former Arizona Football players and hometown friends Khalil Tate and Devaughn Cooper are both starting their acting careers. Starting with their gridiron glory, these two are now acting in Hollywood on the popular TV Series: All American.
The CW Network's 2022 Upfront Presentation
The CW Network's 2022 Upfront Presentation / Kevin Mazur/GettyImages

In a plot twist worthy of a Hollywood script, former Arizona Wildcats football stars Khalil Tate and Devaughn Cooper are making their mark on the hit CW series All American. As the show is in the throes of its highly anticipated sixth season, the addition of these two talented athletes promises to bring a fresh dynamic to the gridiron drama, especially in the locker room and gridiron scenes.

Tate's journey to the small screen is as remarkable as his rise in college football. Bursting onto the scene as a true freshman at Arizona in 2016, Tate quickly made waves as the first true freshman to start a game for the Wildcats in over a decade. Despite his youth, Tate showcased his dual-threat abilities with a dazzling debut performance against UCLA, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for nearly 80 yards. His talent and potential were undeniable, setting the stage for a collegiate career filled with electrifying moments.

Tate's sophomore season in 2017 solidified his status as a rising star in college football. After stepping in as the starting quarterback, he shattered records with a jaw-dropping 327 rushing yards in a single game, earning him accolades as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. With each game, Tate's star continued to rise, culminating in a historic run of four consecutive Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors – a feat unmatched in conference history.

As a senior, Tate embraced the role of team leader and full-time starter for the Wildcats. Despite facing formidable opponents, he consistently showcased his skills on the field, cementing his legacy as one of Arizona's most dynamic quarterbacks. From thrilling victories to hard-fought battles, Tate's journey through college football is a testament to his resilience and determination.

Tate made his debut on All American last season, and it was fun to see a glimpse of him. I asked Tate if he enjoyed his time on set and if acting is something he is interested in. He did like it, but he is still pursuing a pro career, recently visiting an NFL team. He played for the Edmonton Elks in the Canadian Football team in June of 2023.

Joining Tate on the set of All American is Cooper, whose football career spans multiple institutions and showcases his unwavering dedication to the game. From his early days at Arizona and then UTEP to his standout performances at Syracuse, Cooper's path to success has been marked by perseverance and passion. As a wide receiver, he's demonstrated a knack for making big plays and rising to the occasion when his team needs him most.

Cooper's collegiate career is a testament to his versatility and work ethic, culminating in a standout senior season at Syracuse (his 7th year of college) where he set new career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. His journey from walk-on to scholarship player exemplifies the resilience and determination that define him both on and off the field. Cooper has earned an undergraduate and two Master's degrees.

As Tate and Cooper bring their real-life experiences to the fictional world of All American, viewers can expect to see the same passion and intensity that propelled them to success on the gridiron. From the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, their performances promise to resonate with audiences as they navigate the highs and lows of high school football in Compton, Beverly Hills, and D1 College in Los Angeles. Both Tate (Serra High School) and Cooper (Narbonne High School) played high school football in Los Angeles, so these parts are fitting.

If only the Producers and Director had Tate passing to Cooper in the show; have they put two and two together? Tate shows up in locker room scenes, where you can find him dancing and celebrating a win in the GCC locker room after a win. He also runs plays as a WR on the football field in practice and games. Cooper subs in for Spencer James (No. 11), the star of the show, a WR on the field making cuts, plays, and touchdowns.

With the sixth season of All American, which premiered on April 1, 2024, fans can look forward to seeing Tate and Cooper light up the screen with their talent and charisma. As they change their jerseys for Hollywood glamour, these former Wildcats are ready to make their mark on the world of television, proving that their journey is just beginning. The series just aired the 100th episode on Monday night.

"Filming the 100th episode for All American in that Rose Bowl Stadium brought back many memories for me; one being scoring my first collegiate touchdown there as a true freshman with my family in attendance. Being there with my good friend and former teammate Coop[er] just made it that more enjoyable," explained Tate on his experience so far.

"The entire experience was outstanding, being able to be in the Rose Bowl with my old QB and close friend Khalil Tate was like a blast from the past bringing back so many memories," Cooper added. "I would watch the show and never thought I’d be a part of it, and I am very grateful to be able to be a part of the 100th episode, which is something so special. I had an amazing time filming with good friends and a great cast."

This isn't the first time these two fan favorites reunited: they also starred in a 2022 episode of "Talk Yo Shit" a reality series produced by Akili Tate (Khalil's brother), also starring Ahsante Smith.

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