For a moment, there was a time when Kahlil Tate doubted he’d get to play collegiate football.
The Kenwood Academy senior worked hard and earned 21 scholarship offers, ultimately ending those doubts when he announced his commitment to Iowa on Wednesday.
“It’s a huge relief to know that I get to be a role model for the city, not even the city, but my family members, my little brother, my cousins, even the girls in my family,” Tate said. “They know that anything is possible.”
The cornerback prospect first earned interest from colleges when Penn State offered him his first scholarship after his sophomore season in January 2021. Tate kept working and impressing on the field during his junior season and earned more offers in the winter from Power Five programs like Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and Illinois.
Tate’s coaches took him and his teammates on visits and he enjoyed what he saw from Iowa. When he made his official visit to Iowa City in late June, he met with head coach Kirk Ferentz, defensive coordinator and secondary coach Phil Parker and linebackers coach Seth Wallace and liked how they presented the program and how honest they were with him.
The decision ultimately came down to Wisconsin and Iowa. Tate decided to go with his gut.
“It was really, really tough to be honest,” Tate said. “There were things about both schools that I liked. I just had to put aside everything and do some research, see what my gut felt was right and that felt right.”
247Sports Composite ranks Tate as a three-star cornerback, the 10th-best prospect in Illinois and the 53rd-best at his position in the nation. Rivals also gave Tate a three-star ranking and ranked him the eighth-best prospect in the state.
Tate still wants to improve his football intelligence during his senior season before he heads off to Iowa. He wants to see something before it happens and help his team win this fall.
The Broncos made their third consecutive postseason appearance in 2021 with an 8-2 record and won the Chicago Public League championship. Now Tate is ready to help lead the schools to another level.
“I’m really excited to not focus on the process but focus on the season,” Tate said. “To focus on in-house things, like winning state and bettering myself. That’s just one less thing to worry about.”